Grizzlies Notes: Morant, Adams, Jones, Clarke

At some point before Ja Morant flashed a gun at a strip club on an Instagram Live video over the weekend, the Grizzlies held a players-only meeting in which veteran center Steven Adams spoke out about the need for better discipline during road trips, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium (Twitter video link via The Rally).

As Charania explains, the Grizzlies are 26-5 at home this year but just 12-20 in road games, and part of Adams’ message was about cutting back on going out and partying while on the road.

“I’m told those in the room when Steven Adams spoke about, they knew exactly who he was directing this to,” Charania said. “It was no one other than Ja Morant.”

In the wake of Saturday’s incident and the news that Morant will be away from the team for at least two games (and likely longer), Marc J. Spears of Andscape suggests that the young point guard could look to Carmelo Anthony‘s career arc as a blueprint worth following.

Anthony entered the NBA as No. 3 overall pick and a rising star who had just won a title at Syracuse, but made a series of off-court headlines in his first few years in the league — he allegedly got into a fight at a New York nightclub, was charged for possession of marijuana, and was arrested for a DUI, among other incidents. However, he eventually surrounded himself with more positive influences and shifted his focus more to basketball. The onus is now on Morant to choose a similar path.

Here’s more on the Grizzlies:

  • In an appearance on ESPN’s First Take (YouTube video link), Brian Windhorst suggested that while the NBA announced a new investigation into Morant on Saturday following the Instagram Live video, that was more like a continuation of an ongoing process due to previous allegations. “The NBA isn’t starting an investigation into the situation because their last investigation from Ja never stopped,” Windhorst said. “They’re concerned, and they have been doing background information and gathering information even more than normal over the last few weeks trying to understand what’s going on here.”
  • Grizzlies point guard Tyus Jones has long been considered one of the best backups in the NBA. Now, with Morant away from the team indefinitely, Jones will be a key factor in ensuring the team keeps pace in the West’s playoff race, writes Damichael Cole of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Jones adjusted nicely in his first game as a starter on Sunday, racking up 25 points, 12 assists, and five steals in a six-point loss to the Clippers. Memphis outscored L.A. by three points when Jones was on the court.
  • While Morant and Dillon Brooks – who was suspended for Sunday’s game – have dominated the headlines, ESPN’s Kevin Pelton (Insider-only link) writes that Brandon Clarke‘s season-ending Achilles injury shouldn’t be overlooked. As Pelton writes, Clarke has proven his value in certain playoff matchups – like last year’s series vs. Minnesota – and his absence will further weaken a frontcourt that has already been shaky without Adams in recent weeks.
View Comments (7)