Grizzlies’ Ja Morant has no timetable to return, coach says

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant (12) is averaging 21.1 points per game this season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant (12) is averaging 21.1 points per game this season. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

March 6 (UPI) — Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has no timetable to return amid an NBA investigation into a video he posted, which showed him holding what appeared to be a gun at a nightclub, coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters.

Jenkins spoke about the incident before the Grizzlies lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday in Los Angeles. The Grizzlies announced Saturday that Morant would be “away from the team” for “at least the next two games.”

“There is not a definitive timeline,” Jenkins told reporters. “We’ve said it’s going to be at least these next two games. We are taking it day at a time. This is going to be an ongoing healing process.

“I can’t comment in terms of what the exact timetable is going to be because it’s really not a timetable situation.”

Morant posted the video of himself early Saturday on Instagram, hours after the Grizzlies lost to the Denver Nuggets on Friday in Denver. He held what appeared to be a gun in his left hand, while rapping along with background music. Morant later deactivated his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Morant also issued an apology Saturday through his agents.

“I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down,” Morant said in a statement. “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.”

On Wednesday, the Washington Post also published a report about two incidents that involved Morant and resulted in police reports this summer. No arrests were made in those incidents.

Police interviews obtained by the Post included a claim from one of those incidents, with a 17-year-old boy alleging Morant came out of his house with a gun and had his hand on the weapon after he allegedly fought with the boy during a pickup basketball game.

Morant, 23, is averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and 6 rebounds per game this season. He averaged a career-high 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds last season. The two-time All-Star and No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft was a second-team All-NBA selection in 2021-22.

The Grizzlies (38-25) are in second place in the Western Conference standings, 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Denver Nuggets. They are one game ahead of the third-place Sacramento Kings with 19 games remaining in the regular season.

“We love him,” Jenkins said of Morant. “We want what’s best for him. We want to support him. We know it’s going to be a difficult process. We have a great group to get through this.”

The Grizzlies will battle the Los Angeles Lakers (31-34) at 10 p.m. EST Tuesday in Los Angeles.

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