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It’s safe to say that Ja Morant will finally receive ample punishment for waving firearms around on social media. At least based on NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s reaction.
Shortly after the video of Silver’s reaction dropped, Ja Morant’s PR team went into crisis mode and issued an apology.
NBA Commissioner Left Shocked By Ja Morant’s Latest Gun Video
Speaking with ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Silver made his first public comments on the video from May 14 showing Morant holding a firearm with longtime friend Davonte Pack. Two months after his incident at Shotgun Willie’s that forced Morant to step away from basketball and engage in a months-long PR nightmare, Morant was back to being reckless online.
The first time he got caught, Morant was slapped on the wrist with an eight-game suspension by the Association. This time around, expect “the worst” regarding a punishment.
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend that video,” Silver shared Tuesday night, ahead of the Lakers and Nuggets Western Conference Finals game. “Now, we’re in the process of investigating it, and we’ll figure out exactly what happened to the best we can. The video is a bit grainy and all that, but I’m assuming the worst.”
READ: JA MORANT MANAGES TO GET SUSPENDED DURING OFFSEASON AFTER FLASHING GUN ON INSTAGRAM FOR SECOND TIME IN THREE MONTHS
Silver attested to believing Morant was a changed man during their sit-down on Mar. 15.
“We talked directly about the consequences first,” Silver added. “Before we got to a subsequent potential to have done something wrong, we were very focused on the misconduct that was in front of us at the time. Frankly, most of our conversation was about how incredibly serious the first incident was of waving a firearm on social media.”
Ja Morant Hasn’t Changed, Continues Down Dark Path
After a brief stint at a Floridian counseling program — listening to wind chimes and bonding with his yoga mat — Morant said he was ready to return to play, claiming he had learned his lesson.
Morant, in the third-person, spoke to ESPN’s Jalen Rose in his first tell-all since his days-long trip to the Sunshine State. He himself acknowledged that kids watch his behavior and that “Ja” shouldn’t be waving guns around on live video.
Or pointing laser-dotted sights at Pacers personnel; threatening a mall cop at a Foot Locker; or punching teenagers over a heated pickup game.
All of those true, by the way.
Silver added, “Again, the consequences there — an eight-game suspension — was pretty serious and something that he, at least to me, seemed to take incredibly seriously in that time.
“And we spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career, but the safety issues around it — [Morant] could’ve injured, maimed, killed himself, someone else with an act like that — and also the acknowledgment that he’s a star.
“He has an incredibly huge following, and [we discussed] my concern — and I thought he shared with me — that millions if not tens of millions, of kids globally would have seen him do something that was celebrating in a way that act of using a firearm in that fashion. … So I at least was left with the sense that he was taking this incredibly serious.”
Softball Punishment By NBA Leads To Another Offense
Speculation of the 23-year-old’s upcoming punishment has ranged from missing half of the season to the entire year. He issued the apology on Tuesday after Silver’s reaction aired.
Morant said, “I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. 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.”
Considering Morant’s status as one of the game’s brightest stars, most fans agree that it’s worth teaching him his lesson one year with a true punishment so that he doesn’t sabotage a potentially Hall of Fame career.
Ask most guys at ESPN, and they’ll probably say the video was not a grave offense by Morant. NBA analyst J.J. Redick — eying NBA head coaching interviews — said Morant deserves only 25 games for his second appearance with a firearm.
Let’s see how the player-driven league responds.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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One CommentLeave a Reply
I’m sure I’m in the minority here but I’ve never been a fan of suspensions for stuff people do in their personal time. Other consequences like losing endorsements or a team choosing not to sign a player make sense to me. But the suspensions tend to be an appeal to the hand wringing crowd.