On May 14, Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant was indefinitely suspended by the team pending an NBA investigation. It came as a result of, for the second time in 2023, Morant appearing on Instagram Live with a gun. The first time occurred in March at a Denver nightclub. That incident led to an eight-game suspension for Morant. The second, which went viral on social on May 13, appeared to occur while Morant was cruising with longtime friend Davonte Pack.
While the NBA is yet to fully address the situation, Commissioner Adam Silver said he was "shocked" by the incident when asked at the NBA Draft Lottery. A lot of speculation has arisen about the severity of punishment Morant will face. Ideas range from JJ Redick's suggestion to simply double the previous suspension to calls for a suspension that would span half the season or more. However, it will likely be some time before the NBA makes their decision, as they walk the line between reputation and Morant's draw as a player.
Morant Finally Issues A Statement
However, amid all this, the one person who hadn't been heard from was Ja Morant himself. That all changed on May 16 following Silver's comments at the lottery, with Morant releasing a statement through his representatives. "I know I've disappointed a lot of people who have supported me," the statement began. "This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I'm committed to continuing to work on myself."
Despite addressing the situation, the vague and generic statement has rung hollow for many people. Soon after it was released, a joke began to spread on social media that Morant had used an AI program like ChatGPT to write an apology for him. Furthermore, Morant's statement is essentially a re-write of the apology he gave after his first suspension. In March, after returning to practice with the Grizzlies, Morant said much of the same. "I'm completely sorry for that. So, you know, my job now is, like I said, to be more responsible, more smarter, and don't cause any of that no more." Arguably, his March apology was more convincing. This is a developing story and any updates will be covered here on HotNewHipHop.