Former NBA star Charles Barkley has claimed Ja Morant has to accept he could be the ‘problem’ as he tears apart those defending the Memphis Grizzlies star following his latest weapons scandal fire.
Before giving hints during Wednesday’s Eastern Conference Finals game between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, TNT’s Barkley addressed the recent controversy surrounding Ja Morant.
The Memphis Grizzlies star has been suspended by the team from ‘all basketball activity’ after he was seen in an Instagram video waving a gun. It came months after a similar incident at a Denver nightclub that resulted in Morant being suspended by the NBA for eight games.
In a lengthy rant, Barkley slammed Morant’s actions – advising him to be smarter about his gun ownership and find out sooner.
He also criticized those he believed were defending Morant by saying he broke no laws. That comment came after ESPN’s JJ Redick said on First Take that Morant shouldn’t be suspended for half a season as politicians who embrace gun culture while being surrounded by mass shootings are not not punished.
Charles Barkley slammed Ja Morant, calling him ‘crazy’ for his recent gun troubles
Ja Morant appeared on an Instagram Live video on Saturday – where he was seen with a gun
Charles Barkley recounts the situation of Ja Morant and “idiots, imbeciles, morons on television who just piss [him] disabled.” pic.twitter.com/HShZisdQqK
— Horrible announcement (@awfulannouncing) May 18, 2023
“We’ve got idiots, jerks, jacka***s on TV,” Barkley began. They really piss me off saying “Ja should take a stand saying he didn’t break any laws. He didn’t do anything wrong. We’re in a state where you can carry your gun.”
“These guys are just idiots. And I mean freaking out because you guys won’t let me say what I mean.
“When you make $100 million a year playing sports, your life changes. There are certain rules and regulations that you have to follow, plain and simple. You can’t mess around. That’s the trade-off.
“Now if you want to do all that and give back all that money, more power to you.” You can take that position and say, “You know, I want to do what I want to do. I want to show off my gun, make videos and do stuff. Okay that’s good.
“But you can’t make money with the NBA doing that stuff. I just hope he grows up and realizes… that you’re not a thug. You are not a criminal.
‘You are not a crook. You’re a guy who makes ($200) million a year for dribble a stupid basketball and you win the lottery.
“We’ve all hit the lottery…there are people who work nine to five, eight and nine hours a week to earn $25,000 a year. They will kill to be in our situation.
“And Kenney is right at one point, they are not your friends. Bill Parcells used to say, and I love it, he says, “Man, you’re just an unlucky guy. Bad things happen around you all the time. You’re just a guy. unlucky.” Nah man, you gotta look in the mirror and say “yeah, you know what? Maybe I’m the problem.”
Barkley also criticized media outlets (such as JJ Redick) who said Morant broke no laws.
In March, Morant appeared to be holding a gun in an Instagram Live video at a Denver club
“It’s disappointing because the kid is a great player, but being a jerk already and then being a bigger jerk a few months later. And that’s, like, your fifth or sixth gun.
‘Hey, I’m a gun guy, but I don’t understand why you flash it. My bodyguard taught me, “Man, if you touch your gun, you better shoot somebody. Not everyone knows you got it.”
Morant’s incident in March showed him dancing topless in a strip club before raising a gun to the side of his head.
In the latest clip, Morant was seen on Instagram Live in the driver’s seat of a car holding a gun while singing rapper YoungBoy NBA’s song “1.5.”
After revealing the gun, the person recording the video immediately turned the camera away from Morant for the rest of the clip that surfaced.
The 23-year-old took full responsibility for his actions in a statement released two days after the incident.
Morant’s statement read: “I know I have disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey and I recognize that there is still work to be done. My words may not mean much at the moment, but I take full responsibility for my actions and pledge to keep working on myself.