At what point does something that could be perceived as an isolated incident become something more concerning? That's a question that might need to be asked when it comes to NBA All-Star and Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant. Recent reporting has revealed additional details surrounding separate incidents during the summer of 2022 involving Morant and members of his entourage. Add in the news of a more recent dust-up between the Morant camp and members of the Indiana Pacers traveling party, and one has to wonder what's going on around one of the NBA's brightest young stars.
Ja Morant's String of Problematic Behavior
Last summer, Morant's mother allegedly got into a dispute with a store employee at a mall in Memphis, which prompted her to call her son. He and some friends arrived and were told to leave by the head of security, but refused to do so. The verbal confrontation then turned physical when one of Morant's party allegedly pushed the security guard in the head. The subsequent police report also referenced Morant as saying "let me find out what time he get off", causing the guard to feel threatened and leading to a police report being filed. No arrests were made as a result of the incident.
Not long after that, there was news of yet another confrontation involving Morant. He was hosting a pickup basketball game at his home in Tennessee. A local high school player was among those who showed up to play. The incident allegedly began when Morant threw a "hard pass" to the 17-year-old, which he then passed back to Morant in a similarly hard manner. The ball apparently slipped through Morant's hands and caught him on the chin. According to reports, the teen then told police that Morant put his chin into the boy's shoulder, saying "Do I do it to him?", to which a friend replied, "Yeah, do it". Morant and his friend then allegedly punched the teenager at least a dozen times in the head before the altercation was broken up.
You'd think that, at some point, cooler heads would prevail. Instead, it's been reported that Morant went into his house and returned with a gun tucked in his waistband, though this was never confirmed by police. In subsequent interviews with the police, Morant did admit to swinging first, but stated that it was purely in self-defense, having felt that "the ball [passed from the teenager] was the first swing".
Once again, police reports were filed, initially by the teen and his mother, then a couple of weeks later by Morant, who alleged that the teen had threatened to "come back and light this place up like fireworks". Recently, the boy's mother filed a lawsuit against Morant and his friend, Davonte Pack, who is assumed to be the friend and fellow attacker in the incident. The case remains ongoing and has since been sealed. The reported altercation between Morant, acquaintances of his, and members of the Indiana Pacers is just the latest chapter of what's been a turbulent time for Morant off the court.
All of this takes place in the midst of a season in which Morant has been named an All-Star and his Grizzlies are currently second in the Western Conference standings.
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