March 21 update: Morant is not listed on Wednesday’s injury report, so he’s available to return for the Grizzlies. Head coach Taylor Jenkins hinted at the possibility Morant could come off the bench as he gets back into game shape but the point guard has taken the necessary steps to re-ingratiate himself with the team after stepping away from the game to handle personal matters.
March 8 update: The Colorado police have cleared Ja Morant in their investigation, saying there isn’t enough evidence to bring charges against anyone. According to the Grizzlies, Morant will be out for at least the next four games. That means Tyus Jones will take over as the starting point guard.
Ja Morant will remain away from Grizzlies for at least the next four games, team says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 8, 2023
March 6 update: Morant will be away from the Grizzlies indefinitely and is now going to be under investigation from law enforcement. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Colorado police are investigating Morant’s actions after the point guard appeared to be holding a gun during his Instagram live video. Morant is going to have to answer for a lot of his actions eventually, and he will have to answer to more parties than just the NBA.
Update — The NBA is suspending Morant at least two games after investigating the incident on his social media account.
Morant was accused of punching a 17-year-old and waving a gun at police. On Friday, Morant was seen on Instagram live appearing to have a gun while in a club. Morant released this statement after the suspension:
Grizzlies’ Ja Morant releases statement and says he is going to take time away to receive help: pic.twitter.com/5TxS7Qh3kJ— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 4, 2023
The NBA has officially launched an investigation into Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant’s social media activity after he displayed a gun on his Instagram Live post. Morant is already dealing with several allegations of assault, with one incident involving him repeatedly beating up a teenager and then reportedly displaying a gun. There was also the issue with the Pacers earlier this season, when members of Morant’s group alleged there was a laser being trained on their vehicle and felt there was a gun involved while leaving the arena.
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was seen on his own instagram live displaying a gun while at a nightclub early Saturday morning. https://t.co/nkuxHa7JqX— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2023
These reports come at a bad time for Morant and the Grizzlies, who are fighting to maintain the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies ascended into the NBA’s contending circle last season with 56 wins but have slowly gained a reputation for being overly physical and aggressive. They are not afraid to mix it up, and that has created some problems for Morant and his teammates.
The most notable in-arena incident involved the Grizzlies getting into an exchange with Shannon Sharpe at a Lakers game, likely due to Sharpe’s close ties with LeBron James. The NBA has a lot on its plate with this investigation.
Due process still has to play out for Morant, who is averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game this season. We’ll see if the results of this investigation or any previous allegations impact his availability for the rest of the season.