Source: Morant in Consulting Program; No return to set NBA date

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has entered a counseling program in Florida and remains without a timetable on his return to the NBA season, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Morant is seeking help for what he described in a statement as a need “to work on finding and learning better ways to deal with stress and my overall well-being,” which has put him out of Memphis on leave from the team. . , sources said.

The franchise announced that the 23-year-old Morant will be out at least through Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat, but there is no exact timeline on his return to the team. The Grizzlies continue to prioritize Morant’s desire and need to receive assistance following a series of related incidents, which culminated on March 4 with him brandishing a gun at a suburban Denver nightclub on his Instagram Live feed.

The matter is under investigation by the NBA, and Memphis officials have repeatedly publicly indicated that Morant will be held accountable for questionable decision-making and patterns of behavior.

Morant, a two-time All-Star, former NBA Rookie of the Year and the most promising player for one of the rising franchises in the league. Before the Grizzlies’ 104–88 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters that, “Jay is fully engaged in the process and looking forward to whatever comes after the next two games.” Ready for.”

“I’ve said he’s taking the time and responsibility to get better for himself so he can be better for our team,” Jenkins said. “I’m really not going to comment further until more updates are necessary.”

Morant has maintained contact with his teammates, continuing to participate in Grizzlies group lesson series and speaking with some Memphis players on the phone.

Grizzlies point guard Tyus Jones told ESPN, “As long as I’ve talked to him, his spirit has been great.” “It’s a unique time. There are times in life when you have to put yourself before family, before basketball, before a lot of other things, and I don’t know that many people have ever done that. Or not. It’s a time where he’s putting himself first, and I think he’s taken advantage of it. I hope he’s taking advantage of it, and it will be good for him.

“Basketball will be here. We support him. We have his back. He knows that, and that’s just what I try to reiterate to him.”

Morant began his Instagram Live session at 5:19 AM ET, hours after the Grizzlies’ 113–97 loss to the Denver Nuggets on March 4. Morant can be seen holding a handgun with his left hand. Morant deactivated both his Instagram and Twitter accounts later that day.

In a statement, Morant said that he “takes full responsibility for my actions last night.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization,” the statement said. “I’m going to take some time to get help and learn better ways to deal with stress and my overall well-being.”

Nike, which has a signature shoe line with Morant, supported the Grizzlies star in a statement shortly thereafter.

“We appreciate Ja’s responsiveness and the time he is taking to seek help,” the statement said. “We support their prioritization of their well-being.”

Morant’s five-year, $231 million extension with Memphis begins with the 2023-24 season.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button