The NBA suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant for eight games without pay Wednesday after determining that displaying a firearm at a club in suburban Denver earlier this month was “conduct detrimental to the league.” ”.
Morant will miss his sixth game when the Grizzlies play in Miami on Wednesday night. He will miss the next two games and will be eligible to return Monday when Memphis plays Dallas.
The games he’s already missed will count toward the suspension, and Morant will lose about $669,000 in salary.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “He also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among the young fans who look up to him.”
Silver met with Morant in New York before announcing the league’s decision. The Grizzlies had no immediate comment; Coach Taylor Jenkins is scheduled to maintain his standard pregame availability on Wednesday night in Miami before the game against the Heat.
The league’s investigation, which began almost immediately after the March 4 incident in which Morant went live on Instagram, found that he was “holding a firearm while intoxicated” but did not prove that the weapon was Morant’s property “or exhibited.” by him beyond a brief period.”
The league’s investigation also did not find that Morant had the gun with him on the flight from Memphis to Denver or that he had the gun while at any NBA facility. Colorado police said last week that they investigated the circumstances surrounding the video and concluded there was no reason to charge Morant with a crime.
“He has expressed sincere regret and remorse for his behavior,” Silver said. “Ja also made it clear to me that he learned from this incident and that he understands that his obligations and responsibilities to the Memphis Grizzlies and the NBA community at large extend well beyond his playing on the court.” .
This marked at least the second time in recent weeks that Morant was the subject of a league investigation. Morant’s actions came under investigation after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he said led to a friend of his being banned from home games for a year.
That incident followed a game against the Indiana Pacers; citing anonymous sources, the Indianapolis Star and USA Today reported that several members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and the Athletic reported that a Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a weapon.
The NBA confirmed that unidentified people were barred from the arena, but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.
Morant and a close friend are also involved in a civil lawsuit brought after an incident at Morant’s home last summer in which a 17-year-old alleged he was assaulted.