(Los Angeles) Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was suspended 25 games by the NBA on Friday for displaying a firearm in a video posted to social media in May.
Already suspended eight games in March for similar facts, the Grizzlies point guard had “irresponsible behavior” according to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, quoted in a press release.
“Ja Morant’s decision to once again brandish a gun on social media is alarming and disconcerting,” Silver added. For Ja, basketball has to take a back seat for now. »
Morant will therefore miss a little less than a third of the next regular season.
Before he can return to the NBA courts, the 23-year-old will also be required to “complete league sessions that directly address the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior,” said Adam Silver.
In an Instagram Live video, the 23-year-old was seen sneaking into the passenger seat of a car holding a gun in his left hand.
This scene was reminiscent of another that happened on March 4 under different circumstances: Ja Morant, while inebriated, brandished a gun at a nightclub in Glendale, near Denver, after a lost encounter by the Grizzlies against the Nuggets.
In the process, the star had joined a psychological support program in Florida for a few days. Then, Morant pledged to be “more responsible, smarter and stay away from all bad decisions,” in an interview with ESPN after his eight-game suspension was announced.
Other cases taint the course of the very athletic leader, originally from South Carolina.
He was notably accused of punching a 17-year-old boy “12 to 13 times” at his home in July 2022. His agent claimed at the time that he acted in self-defense.
Drafted second in 2019 by Memphis and voted the NBA’s best rookie the following year, he has since confirmed the high hopes placed in him, both by his spectacular play and by his statistical performance.
This season, he averaged 26.2 points, 8.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game, without preventing his team from being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Lakers.