Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant celebrated a teammate’s shot by pretending to fire a gun just hours after a police report revealed he allegedly flashed a gun at a 17-year-old boy after stabbing it on the head last year had beaten.
New details from police interviews obtained by The Washington Post reveal that the 17-year-old Shelby County Sheriff’s Office detectives told the point guard hit him “12 to 13 times,” adding that Morant’s friend hit him an additional “four to five times.” time.’
Morant, 23, was charged in September with assaulting a Tennessee teenager in the face during a pick-up game, but he claims he acted in self-defense
Wednesday night, as the Grizzlies took on the Houston Rockets, teammate Desmond Bane emptied a three-pointer off the Memphis bench.
Morant was excited by the shot, but celebrated by pretending to shoot a gun at Bane as he ran onto the floor in defense.
Grizzlies guard Ja Morant was seen pretending to fire a gun in honor of a three-pointer
Memphis easily handled the Rockets, beating them 113-99 as Morant put up 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the win.
The police report of Morant’s actions drew anger from some members of the media, including Shannon Sharpe – who was involved in a notable altercation with members of Morant’s entourage this season – including Ja’s father Tee Morant.
“I’ve said it before, yes, you’ll have to act differently,” Sharpe advised. “You’re in a different stratosphere now. I just think he should act like a person who is in the same stratosphere.
“He portrays himself as something he’s not… He’s running backwards… Yeah, just moving differently, bruh…
“I would never give you advice on how to play basketball, but I would try to give you some advice on how to move,” Sharpe continued.
“Let someone else’s lesson be your lesson… Yes, there are a lot of lessons you can learn without having to learn that same lesson through your own hardships, that’s all I would say to him.”
The teen claimed that when he got up to leave after the fight last summer, Morant entered his home and reappeared with a gun.
Morant reportedly had the gun visible in the waistband of his pants and had his hand on the gun.
A police report on Morant (L) was published hours before the game against the Rockets
The 17-year-old accuser claimed he was playing pick-up basketball with Morant when the two got into an argument, which quickly escalated. He admits to throwing a basketball at Morant and “accidentally” hitting the six-foot guard in the face.
Morant and his friend reportedly responded by beating the 17-year-old “with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground” and leaving him with a “big knot” on the side of his head, according to a police report written by deputies who said they saw the boy’s injuries.
Morant “kept stabbing him to the ground” while another person joined in to punch the teen, who compared the hits to “an MMA fight.”
Morant admitted to hitting the 17-year-old, but told police he did so in self-defense. According to the former Murray State star, the accuser also “made verbal threats” and said he would “set fire to (Morant’s) house.”
Morant said “he and his family were frightened by the statement.”
In transcripts of the interview with Morant, police raised the claim that the NBA star was “brandishing” a gun, but did not ask him directly if it happened.
Neither Morant nor his lawyers rejected the claim at the time, the records show.
Morant played in Wednesday’s game and scored 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists
Police investigated the plaintiff’s claims for several weeks before submitting the case to the district attorney’s office in October. However, the prosecution decided that there was not enough evidence to continue the case.
TMZ reported on Jan. 3 that the teen had filed a lawsuit against Morant in September.
The altercation reportedly came just four days after another incident, which had previously gone unreported.
According to The Post, the chief of security at a Memphis mall told police last summer that Morant had “threatened” him during an altercation in the parking lot.
Morant’s mother reportedly got into an argument with an employee of a shoe store at the mall and called her son, who arrived shortly afterwards with a group of “as many as nine people.”
According to the police report, Morant and his friends refused to leave the parking lot when confronted by the mall’s director of security.
Police arrived and a “verbal confrontation” reportedly escalated before someone in Morant’s entourage shoved the security chief at the head.
“As the group left the premises… Ja Morant said, ‘Let me see what time he gets out,'” the police wrote in the report.
The alleged incident took place at Morant’s mansion outside of Memphis
The head of security reportedly wanted to press charges “because he felt threatened by Ja Morant’s statement,” police wrote.
Neither incident was made public at the time, and Morant started the NBA season strong with the Grizzlies.
Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, characterized the allegations as “baseless rumors and gossip are spread by people motivated to take down Ja and tarnish his reputation for their own financial gain.”
“Each allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be confirmed. This also applies to last month’s NBA investigation, in which they found no evidence,” Tanner said.
The incident with the teen, Tanner said, “was purely self-defense. Again, after this was fully investigated by law enforcement, they came to the decision not to charge Ja with any crime.”
The chief of security at a Memphis mall also claimed that Morant “threatened” him last summer
However, controversy dogged him again earlier this year after his acquaintances “aggressively confronted” members of Indiana’s tour group after the Grizzlies’ game against the Pacers on January 29.
According to The Athletic, Morant was driving an SUV with friend Davonte Pack and another person when a red laser was pointed at the Pacers bus.
Two people who spoke anonymously to the publication said they believed the laser was attached to a gun, while an Indiana guard nearby claimed “that’s 100 percent a gun.” However, it has not been confirmed that the laser was attached to a weapon.
The league opened an investigation into the allegation, but concluded that it “did not confirm that someone threatened others with a weapon,” an NBA spokesman said.