According to Memphis Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins, Ja Morant is indefinitely benched from the team. He confirmed the news Sunday before the team’s defeat at the hands of the LA Clippers. At first, the Grizzlies said that Morant would sit out at least two games and would seek help after posting a disturbing video to Instagram Live on Saturday morning.
In it, Morant apparently poses with a gun at a nightclub. In response, the NBA is conducting an investigation. Jenkins commented: “We have said that it’s going to be at least these two games. I mean, this is going be an ongoing healing process. ... It’s really not a timetable situation.”
He added that what Morant is going through will be what’s “ a difficult process” but that accountability is important:
“We’re taking this very seriously. There’s a supportive element for someone that’s got to get better and needs some help. But then there’s also accountability to the team that we’ve got to stand for. Obviously nationwide, leaguewide, there’s been a lot of attention on gun violence, and so for us, that’s the stance that we’ve taken about how we can support Ja throughout this growth opportunity. It’s a learning opportunity, and hopefully we can be better from it.”
However, this isn’t the first time Morant has had an incident involving a weapon. A story by The Washington Post story was published Wednesday and outlined two occasions involving Morant this summer that led to police reports but no arrests.
In police interviews obtained by The Washington Post, a 17-year-old boy accused Morant of coming out of his house with a gun in his waistband and his hand on the weapon following an altercation between the boy and Morant during a pickup basketball game in Morant’s backyard. The other incident involved an exchange with a mall security guard in a parking lot.
Morant released a statement saying: “I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
If the NBA’s investigation finds any wrongdoing, they could fine or suspend Morant.