What happened to Ja Morant? Gun incident and NBA suspension explained

Memphis Grizzlies v Charlotte Hornets
Ja Morant was suspended because of a gun incident (Image via Getty Images)

Ja Morant has been very problematic lately, which is why the NBA suspended him for eight games without pay. The biggest reason for the suspension was the live Instagram video in which the Memphis Grizzlies superstar flashed a gun.

While the professional basketball league considers this detrimental conduct, there have been a few more incidents that have led to the suspension and its publicity.

Morant is only 23 and is in his fourth year in the league. He took full responsibility for his behavior and will be away from the team for at least a few more days.

Ja Morant flashed a gun on a live video and was suspended for it

Morant's last game was against the Denver Nuggets on March 3. His Grizzlies suffered a 16-point loss, despite Ja recording a 27-point, 10-assist double-double.

Shortly after the game, the 23-year-old star visited a nightclub in Colorado. This is where he decided to go live on Instagram, which would get him suspended later on. In the live video, Morant looked intoxicated and he also flashed a gun.

The video has since gone viral and several organizations have launched investigations into Ja Morant's behavior. The Grizzlies superstar was investigated by both the police and the NBA.

The police investigation found nothing to charge Morant with. However, the NBA has its own rules, which is why the 23-year-old star is currently suspended.

The league concluded that the firearm displayed by Morant did not belong to him. In addition, it was displayed for a brief period and wasn't frequently used.

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If the gun belonged to the Grizzlies star, he would have faced harsher consequences. More specifically, the league could have suspended him indefinitely for carrying a firearm on a team plane, which is a serious offense.

Morant's suspension will end very soon (Image via Getty Images)
Morant's suspension will end very soon (Image via Getty Images)

Back in 2010, the NBA had another firearm problem when Gilbert Arenas brought his weapon to the locker room. The star point guard was suspended for 50 games and was out of the league shortly after.

Morant's gun incident got him suspended for eight games without pay. However, this also includes the games he's already missed. Due to this, the Grizzlies star will be eligible to return on Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks.

Previous controversies that led to Morant's suspension

Ja Morant has been involved in many other controversies lately, which is why the gun incident was put under a microscope. If the live Instagram video was an isolated incident, he may have avoided the punishment. However, Ja's image was slightly ruined before that.

Back in May 2022, Morant threatened to shoot a Twitter troll. The Memphis Grizzlies star deleted the original tweet, but many basketball fans saw it before it was taken down and some of them took screenshots as well.

The "hollows" tweet was the first significant controversy Ja Morant has been involved in. Morant's image was slightly ruined after the tweet, but a lot of fans gave him the benefit of the doubt, believing that he was simply joking.

A few weeks after the tweet, Morant allegedly beat up a teenage boy at his home. The two played pickup basketball and got into a physical altercation. Morant reportedly had a firearm during the incident, but he did not use it.

The fight with the 17-year-old boy was not the only incident Ja Morant was involved in in the summer of 2022. The 2-time All-Star also threatened the head of security at a Memphis mall.

Morant also had an incident against another NBA team (Image via Getty Images)
Morant also had an incident against another NBA team (Image via Getty Images)

Back in January 2023, the Memphis Grizzlies hosted the Indiana Pacers, beating them 112-100. Morant had a fantastic game with a 27-10-15 triple-double, but he got into trouble after the game.

The Pacers claimed that someone pointed a laser at them from a vehicle that was carrying Ja Morant. The team also believed that the laser was attached to a gun, which is why the NBA investigated the incident.

You may be interested in reading: Why was Ja Morant's friend banned? Laser incident explained

The league's investigation concluded that no firearms were involved in the incident. However, Morant's friend was banned from attending home games for a year as a result.

While some fans believe that Morant's gun incident wasn't very problematic, the truth is that it was a straw that broke the camel's back. The Grizzlies star has shown a pattern of problematic behavior, which is why the league decided to put an end to it.

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Edited by Asmir Pekmic