Ja Morant of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies sat down for his first gun-wielding interview on Instagram Live earlier this month. Accordingly ESPNhis actions have led to the recent episode of an eight-game suspension from the NBA.
RELATED: Coca-Cola pulls Ja Morant Powerade ad after drawing gun on Instagram Live
Yes Morant’s interview with ESPN
Ja Morant sat down with ESPN’s Jalen Rose for an interview that aired on Wednesday. Morant explained that he had to be “smarter”. In addition, Morant explained that because of the gun swinging incident, he now realizes what things he has a “stake” on.
“I feel like in the past we didn’t know what was at stake. And now I finally have this time to realize everything, to have this time alone, I realize that now…
I realize what I have to lose and for us as a group, what we have to lose. It’s pretty much just about being more responsible and smarter and staying away from all the bad decisions.”
Morant also addressed the gun-wielding incident directly. He explained that the gun he saw on Instagram Live does not belong to him. In addition, Morant stated that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions, but also acknowledged that he made a “grave mistake”.
“It’s not who I am. I do not condone violence or any kind of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I made a bad mistake. I can see the picture I’ve painted about myself with my recent mistakes. But going forward, I’m going to show everyone who Ja really is, what I’m about, and change that narrative that everyone has.”
Additionally, Morant explained that he was live-streaming at a strip club in Colorado on March 4 because he was “pretty much” “trying to be free.”
“I used this as an escape, which I shouldn’t have done. I think that’s why I’ve made a lot of bad decisions in my past, which doesn’t really describe me, doesn’t describe me as a person. I am a very different person than what is shown in the media. That’s my job now. That’s why I took this time to become a better Yes, so everyone can really see who Yes really is, and you know what he’s all about.”
Yes, Morant’s 8-game ban from the NBA
Accordingly ESPN, Morant’s interview with Jalen Rose was conducted hours after the 23-year-old met NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Silver denounced Morant’s actions as “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous”.
Silver’s comments also came as Morant received an eight-game suspension without pay from the NBA.
The NBA is suspending Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant for eight games without pay for conduct that harms the league, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 15, 2023
Morant reflected on the decision and his meeting with Silver during the interview
“It was good – pretty much an open discussion. He’s obviously said things I need to get better at, but he’s more likely shown me his support. I accepted that and apologized to everyone – the league, myself, my teammates, my family for inflicting this negativity on all of us with a bad decision.”
The aftermath of Ja Morant’s Gun branding Instagram Live
As The shadow room As previously reported, Morant recently attended a counseling program in Florida to address and correct his recent behavior.
The 23-year-old explained that he’s been feeling good mentally ever since.
“I’m feeling good mentally – the best I’ve been in many years since I was really thrown into the league. I’m in a space where I feel very comfortable. I’ve used these days to learn how to pretty much be there for myself and learn different ways to manage stress in a positive way.”
However, not all of the aftermath of Morant’s actions have been positive. As previously reported by The Shade Room, Coca-Cola ran a $10 million Powerade commercial starring Morant. What’s more, he was even investigated by the Glendale Police Department for his actions, though they ultimately chose not to press criminal charges on The Shadow Room.
For now, Morant is looking forward to returning to court.
“Also, I put my team in a difficult position as I am not able to stand on the ground for decisions I have made. I regret all that. I can’t wait to get back out there on the ground knowing what my punishment is. I accept that and I feel like I deserve this punishment for my mistakes and what I’ve done. But when I’m back out there, I’ll be ready to go and push for a ring.
As previously reported by The Shade Room, Morant brandished a gun while streaming live from a strip club in Colorado on Saturday, March 4.
Ja Morant shows his gun live on Instagram today.
— Savage (@SavageSports_) March 4, 2023