Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant is expected to return to action against Houston on Wednesday, coach Taylor Jenkins told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon and other media members (Twitter link).
Morant has missed nine games since he stepped away from the game due to a number of concerning off–court issues. He was later handed an eight-game NBA suspension, which was retroactively applied to the games he had already missed.
Morant participated in practice on Tuesday and expressed remorse for his prior actions while speaking to the media afterward, MacMahon writes.
“Obviously, I’ve made mistakes in the past that cause a lot of negative attention — not only to me, but my family as well, my team, the organization — and I’m completely sorry for that,” said Morant, who leads the team at 27.1 points and 8.2 assists per game. “So my job now is, like I said, to be more responsible, more smarter, and don’t cause any of that no more.”
While he was intoxicated during his infamous gun waving incident at a nightclub, according to the league’s investigation, Morant says he’s not an alcoholic. He sought out counseling during his hiatus.
“I don’t have an alcohol problem, never had an alcohol problem,” Morant said. “I went [to Florida] for counseling to learn how to manage stress, cope with stress in a positive way instead of ways I’ve tried to deal with it before that caused me to make mistakes.”
However, Morant knows he has to prove he can avoid similar issues in the future.
“Obviously took that time to better myself, get in a better space mentally,” Morant said. “It’s an ongoing process, a continued process for me. Obviously, I’ve been there for two weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely better. So that’s an ongoing process for me that I’ve still been continuing since I’ve come out.”
Morant has started every game of his 240-game NBA career but might come off the bench in the short term. Morant said he’s willing to do that as he returns to a normal workload and Jenkins said it’s under consideration, MacMahon tweets.
23 thoughts on “Ja Morant Expected To Play Wednesday”
The league missed you, bud. Welcome back. Now shush those haters with the swish of the basket!
I think his actions off the court will do far more to shush the haters than making baskets.
The guy was rookie of the year and the best player on a perennial contender. If all you care about is off court action maybe you can read Seventeen magazine. I’ll be watching people play a sport at a high level.
Never was “all I cared about” ever mentioned. Reading is hard, I get it.
He was all that crap you mentioned before and during the bad behavior. Tell me how that “shushes haters”? Being good at basketball doesn’t excuse you from acting like an idiot. Even if you think it does.
The haters only care about a stranger’s personal life and gossip. How does Ja doing something stupid impact you? Yet you race to comment here and judge him.
But when he goes on the court and shines, the focus is in the sport — the beautiful game. And that makes everything okay, even if just for 40 minutes or so.
Lol….I can’t eye roll this crap hard enough.
For reference, I’m 47 and live in the Midwest. Ja is one of my 7yr old son’s favorite players. When he asked me why Ja hasn’t been playing for the last couple of weeks I had to have a conversation about how Ja has made some poor decisions in his personal life and why doing so isn’t acceptable because many kids like mine look up to and want to emulate them.
So regardless how good of a basketball player Ja is, his personal life does have an impact on others.
As adults we have the luxury of choosing to ignore personal choices and focus just on their game. This isn’t the case with kids. So for you to say it doesn’t matter might hold true to you personally but in to me it wasn’t the case. This is why making blanket statements will always spark online debates.
Oh I’m so sorry you had to talk to your son? Ja, Adam Silver are not parents — you are. If anything you should thank Ja that you got to teach your son something with an example relevant to his life.
Now dn’t let him find out Michael Jordan was a gambler, he might get addicted! Don’t let him find out LeBron curses! Give me a break.
Maybe you want your son to grow up emulating gangsters but I don’t.
As far as people taking interest in the personal lives of athletes. Professional athletes waive their right to privacy when they post videos on social media or are out in public. They are also compensated extremely well for giving up these rights. When you are being paid $250K a game, if you want privacy, you can easily maintain privacy but most players enjoy being lauded by their adoring fans.
So please stop claiming Ja is a victim in this situation and that he doesn’t has a social responsibility to be a good role model to his fans. Because the Memphis Grizzlies and NBA believe he does otherwise he wouldn’t have been suspended for 8 games.
The man was waving around a gun, drunk, in public. Indefensible, regardless of what his job is.
Calling someone out for doing something that egregious is not “being a hater,” it’s common sense.
If you think his behavior is excusable and that people who disagree are haters, it says far more about you than them.
Okay, so Ja had a gun, drunk, “in public” (not really, but fine). Irresponsible? Yes. Chill? Not really. Badass? Not here to judge. Indefensible? Defensible. He’s a young, famous guy with buckets of money. He’s bound to make a mistake.
So where do we go from here? Do we let him apologize and move on, or do we never let him play another game because he did something stupid? Do we wait until he’s said something that pleases every single person who took issue? Or do we say hey, no one was hurt, he was embarrassed, publicly, let’s go play some basketball?
I lean towards the latter.
You have to be Ja’s burner account.
Never had a problem but needed counselling…
Kid is either really bad at PR or didn’t learn a thing…
He learned to be more smarter!
just a binge drinker. no biggie.
Except for the fact that lifestyle hinders athletes…
He was already being compared to Rose for the on court style of play…
A binge drinking lifestyle will also lead to that type of career… Lot’s of injuries…
imagine if A.I. stayed off the booze and practiced.
I guess he grew up in 2wks. We’ll see
I know Lil D is gonna be here to stand by his man!
And talk about the Earth being flat or some other wild conspiracy…
The earth is round brother but your skull is pointy!
Just make sure you frisk him before he takes the court. And check his warmups too.
Check him out in his warm-ups? Uhh…ok