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NBA: It’s time for Ja Morant to change his behavior, enough talk, says Grizzlies general manager


FILE – Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies takes the ball downfield in a 111-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs at Crypto.com Arena on April 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Harry Comment/Getty Images/AFP

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman said the NBA’s 25-game suspension of guard Ja Morant was “appropriate” and that it’s up to Morant to change the behavior that led to his two bans in four months.

The Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations made the comments after Thursday night’s NBA draft. Kleiman is the first team official to publicly discuss Morant’s situation and the NBA’s punishment of the two-time All-Star for showing a gun on social media after the season.

Kleiman said the latest incident was part of a pattern of “problematic behavior” for Morant, the 2019 No. 2 pick and 2020 rookie of the year.

“At this point, it doesn’t matter until he calls,” Kleiman said. “I don’t care about words. Ja has to prove it.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the latest suspension on June 16, and Silver made it clear the guard needed to stop his “alarming” habit of flashing guns on social media.

The suspension for the upcoming season comes a month after a second video of Morant flashing a handgun surfaced online. Video of Morant showing a gun while sitting in the passenger seat of a car was released after he was suspended for eight games in March for a video in which he flashed a handgun at a sports club. Denver area striptease.

The Grizzlies suspended Morant indefinitely from team activities after the second video emerged. The team had only released a statement that they supported the NBA’s punishment for this “final episode”.

Morant is expected to earn around $33.5 million this season. He now stands to lose just over $300,000 per game, or around $7.5 million. He will also have to meet certain conditions before being reinstated, the NBA said.

Silver said the two-time All-Star decision-making was “baffling.”

Morant issued an apology to everyone after his last suspension through his reps.

There are apparently still discussions about what Morant is allowed to do during the suspension. Kleiman expects that once Morant is “reintegrated into the team environment” he will be allowed to participate in individual training, conditioning and access to team medical facilities.

The Grizzlies will be without Morant for the first 25 games when the season kicks off in October, and the goalie’s margin for error is zero.

“There’s no room for stepping back,” Kleiman said. “Ja has the opportunity to come back from this. And everyone wants him to succeed.


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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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