Earlier today (March 15), the news of Ja Morant's suspension set the sports world ablaze. It has been an intense time for the Memphis Grizzlies star, who at 23 years old has mapped out a lengthy, successful career in the NBA. However, he's hit a few missteps, and in recent weeks, Morant's goals seem to be unraveling in real time. Retired ballers like Stephen Jackson have vocalized support for Morant, telling him he made a mistake and could move forward. Others have questioned why it seemed that Morant was trying to appear tougher than he is, advising him to leave the street life behind. Now, the basketball star is speaking out in his first interview since his scandals began.
First, there was news that Morant was involved in a scuffle during a pick-up game. He's accused of assaulting a 17-year-old basketball player during a confrontation and displaying a gun. He soon denied the allegations. Later, while on Livestream at a bar, Morant flashed a firearm, further pushing him into the depths of controversy. "The gun wasn't mine," he told former baller and sports analyst Jalen Rose for ESPN's NBA Countdown. "It's not who I am. I don't condone any type of violence, but I've taken responsibility for my actions. But in the future, I'm going to show everybody who Ja really is, what I'm about, and change this narrative that everybody got."
Ja Morant Is Ready For A New Beginning
It was also recently announced Morant was suspended eight games for engaging in behaviors detrimental to the league. This news came days after it was shared that the sports star was admitted to a counseling program in Florida. NBA commissioner Adam Silver condemned Morant's actions, and the basketball star spoke about what their private conversation was like. "It was good-pretty much an open discussion," he said.
"Obviously, he said things I need to be better at, but more of just showing his support towards me. I accepted that, and I also sent my apologies to everybody-to the league, myself, my teammates, my family for putting that negativity towards all of us with a bad decision." As if the assault allegations and the firearm weren't enough, photos of Morant having the time of his life at a strip club also went viral. He told Rose he was trying to be "free" and wanted to get away from the chaos.
An Explanation About The Strip Club Photo
"I used that as an escape, which I shouldn't have," Morant said. "I feel like that's the reason I made many bad decisions in my past, which doesn't pretty much describe me, doesn't describe Ja as a person. I'm a totally different person than what's been shown in the media. That's my job now. That's why I took that time away, to become a better Ja, so everybody really can see who Ja really is and you know what he's about." The full interview airs this evening.