Grizzlies star Ja Morant limped out of the arena after injuring his right knee late in tonight’s game, tweets Jared Greenberg of TNT. Doctors examined Morant following the game, but the results haven’t been announced.
The injury appeared to happen on a play where Warriors guard Jordan Poole was swiping at the ball and grabbed Morant’s knee instead. Morant didn’t talk to reporters, but he sent out a tweet with a video link to the play and the message “broke the code,” a reference to what Golden State coach Steve Kerr said about Dillon Brooks after his flagrant foul injured Gary Payton II in Game 2. That tweet was later removed.
In his postgame press conference, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said “it looks like Jordan Poole grabbed (Morant’s) knee and pulled it” (Twitter link from Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian). Jenkins added that he will consult with general manager Zach Kleiman before determining whether to ask the league to review the play (Twitter link).
Morant’s teammates came to his defense after the game. Desmond Bane referred to the play as a “controllable” situation and said that Poole “reached out and grabbed his knee and put (it in an awkward position). It’s unfortunate.” (Twitter link from Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN). Jaren Jackson Jr. added, “It’s unfortunate to see that type of stuff. But no one here is dirty. It’s unfortunate. You know the code. We’re going to talk about the code all series at this point.” (Twitter link from Marc J. Spears of Andscape).
Poole denied any wrongdoing, saying he was making “a basketball play” (video link from Mark Medina of USA Today). “I’m not even that kind of player,” Poole said. “I respect everybody. I hope he gets better.”