It has been several days since the discovery of a now-deleted video showing Memphis Grizzlies guard, Ja Morant brandishing a weapon on Instagram Live. The incident brought immediate action from the Grizzlies as they suspended Morant. Now, NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver has spoken about the unfortunate situation as Morant released a statement regarding the troubling videotaped incident.
According to ESPN, Silver attended the draft lottery in Chicago and discussed the latest situation involving the all-star player. With the prospect of Morant facing a lengthy suspension and fines, the commissioner expressed disappointment and shocked at what he viewed.
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw, this weekend, that video,” Silver stated in an interview with ESPN. “We’re in the process of investigating it and we’ll figure out exactly what happened as best as we can. The video’s a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst. We’ll figure out exactly what happened there.”
This is the second time Morant was filmed pulling out a gun and seeing it flashed on social media. The initial punishment for the previous infraction resulted in the player being suspended for eight games earlier this year. Morant expressed disappointment in his action and promised to do better. This took place in March. Two months later, he repeats the infraction.
Silver also stated that the first conversation with Morant “focused on the misconduct” and how “incredibly serious the first incident was” with him waving that gun on social media.
“Again, the consequences there — an eight-game suspension — was pretty serious and something that he, at least to me, seemed to take incredibly seriously in that time. And we spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career, but the safety issues around it — [Morant] could’ve injured, maimed, killed himself, someone else with an act like that — and also the acknowledgment that he’s a star. He has an incredibly huge following, and [we discussed] my concern — and I thought he shared with me — that millions, if not tens of millions, of kids globally would have seen him do something that was celebrating in a way that act of using a firearm in that fashion.
“So I at least was left with the sense that he was taking this incredibly serious.”
Based on a report by NBA.com, the suspension cost Morant about $669,000. The All-Star point guard was filmed at a Denver strip club waving a gun while shirtless after playing an NBA game against the Denver Nuggets.
Once again, Morant released a statement acknowledging his action and expressing the need to work on himself, similar to what he stated when he committed the first infraction.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me,” Morant said in the written statement. “This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.”
This is the third reported incident involving a firearm with Morant that the NBA is investigating. No word on the timetable the league has to mete out an appropriate punishment for Morant.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver ‘Assuming the Worst’ About Ja Morant Video; Morant Takes ‘Full Accountability’