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Let’s see, now.
Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant shows a gun pointed down that never fires at a strip club in the Denver area in a social media video at 3:19 a.m. mountain time last Saturday. Morant is not arrested, though police are now investigating the matter. Memphis removes Morant from the team for multiple game after the NBA started looking into the situation on Saturday.
Memphis (38-25) is in second place in the Western Conference. Morant, the second player picked in the 2019 NBA Draft from Murray State, is ninth in the NBA in scoring with 27.1 points a game.
Alabama basketball star guard/forward Brandon Miller brings a gun to a friend at the Tuscaloosa strip of bars after 1 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 15. That gun is used by someone else to allegedly murder 23-year-old mother Jamea Jonae Harris. Miller is not arrested. And Alabama keeps Miller on the team for the next four games with more to come at the SEC Tournament this week and at the NCAA Tournament.
Brandon Miller Named SEC Player Of The Year
No. 2 Alabama (26-5) won the SEC at 16-2. Miller, a projected top for pick in the NBA Draft in June, leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring with 19.6 points a game. The SEC coaches voted him player and freshman of the year on Monday. The Associated Press named him SEC player of the year, newcomer of the year and to the first unit of the All-SEC team on Tuesday.
BRANDON MILLER’S LAWYER, ALABAMA AD ENGAGE IN INSTITUTIONAL SPIN
If Miller learns anything from his involvement – no matter how tertiary – in the murder of Harris, it will be that he needs to be smarter and more careful when he gets to the NBA. And he will likely learn more from his superiors in the NBA than he is from the University of Alabama or its governing body at the Southeastern Conference office.
WATCH: Clay Travis gives his take on the Ja Morant / Brandon Miller gun situations:
Ja Morant’s Gun Not Used In A Murder
Let me repeat that. Morant shows a gun, and basically gets suspended by his team. Miller transports a gun used in a murder and plays on like nothing happened.
Guess everything is a little different in Alabama, especially at the University of Alabama. The Crimson Tide really needs to get as many Name, Image & Likeness deals with defense attorneys and take advantage of its growing lack of discipline. … COME TO ALABAMA! DON’T WORRY, YOU WON’T BE SUSPENDED.
Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton clearly struck a female fan in the back of the head after the game at Tennessee last fall. … No suspension.
Miller voluntarily entered a dangerous situation after 1 a.m. on Jan. 15 by bringing a gun to teammate Darius Miles, who had left the gun in Miller’s car. And it wasn’t to show off in a nightclub, or to prepare for a gun show, or to impress a woman, or for self defense. Miles wanted his gun to give to childhood friend Michael Lynn Davis so he could use it to shoot at Harris and her boyfriend, Tuscaloosa police testified. As soon as Miller arrived, Miles retrieved the gun, gave it to Davis, who shot and killed Harris, according to police. … No suspension.
Brandon Miller Knew He Had Darius Miles’ Gun
“I need my joint (slang for gun),” Miles told Miller in a text, according to Tuscaloosa Police detective Branden Culpepper’s testimony under oath in a preliminary hearing on Feb. 21. Police say Miller knew Miles’ gun was in his car. Miller’s attorney Jim Sandridge was the first to say Miller perhaps didn’t know about the gun. He was also the first to say it was “hidden under some clothing.”
Culpepper never said anything about Miller not knowing about the gun or it being hidden, and he was under oath in court. I’m going with Culpepper here. Sandridge is trying to defend his client by pushing the envelope – in this case casting reasonable doubt. Or in other words, Sandridge is a good lawyer, and he’s being creative. In harsher words, could he be making stuff up?
Miller’s car also helped “block” in the vehicle of Harris and her boyfriend, Culpepper said. Sandridge said there was no clocking of Harris’ vehicle. I’m going with Culpepper again.
SPECIAL REPORT: MURDER ON THE ALABAMA STRIP
No, Miller was not arrested. But that above is enough for a suspension right there. Remember, suspensions are often doled out for less serious offenses than what Burton, Morant or Miller did. Athletes get suspended for missing curfew, or missing meetings, or failing a drug test, or for not being a good teammate, or for talking back to a coach too much.
It’s not a sentencing. It’s merely a suspension. Sometimes suspensions allow a player to take a breath and reassess. And, yes, sometimes athletes get suspended just for being there.
“I didn’t do anything, coach,” an LSU player once told his coach about a bar fight.
“But you were there,” the coach answered and suspended him. “You shouldn’t been there in the first place. You weren’t thinking of your teammates and the next game when you went there at that hour.”
We need more coaches like that, now more than ever, particularly with guns everywhere now more than ever.
One doesn’t have to be arrested to be suspended. Many suspensions of athletes happen solely because the coach decides. Or used to.
Ja Morant Has Issues; Brandon Miller Previously Has Not
Now, Morant clearly needs a suspension or leave. Morant has had several issues over the last several months. Just last week, a story broke that he brandished a gun and beat up a 17-year-old after a pick-up game at his house over the summer. He has also been accused of threatening a mall cop.
POLICE REPORTS ACCUSE JA MORANT OF THREATENING TEENAGER WITH GUN AFTER ALLEGEDLY HITTING HIM DURING PICKUP GAME
Miller has had no known previous incidents during this, his freshman year at Alabama nor previously at Cane Ridge High in Antioch, Tennessee. By all reports, he’s a great kid. But he needs to know how mistaken he was to drive to The Strip at that hour on Jan. 15.
And Alabama athletic department personnel and Alabama fans need to quit clinging to the fact that Miller was not charged or what his defense attorney says.
Brandon Miller’s Attorney Pushed The Envelope Of Truth
“People cannot be held accountable for someone else’s actions unless they know what they are,” Birmingham defense attorney Richard Jaffe told the Associated Press two weeks ago to the adoration of Bama fans.
True. Miller didn’t know what Miles was going to do with his “joint,” but it was after 1 a.m., and he was out at the bars. Miller is a smart kid. I’m sure he had a pretty good idea of what was going down. There was not a gun show on The Strip at 1:30 a.m. Chances are it wasn’t going to be for anything good.
At least one defense attorney talking about Brandon Miller has said something with much more common sense.
“Retreat is not weakness,” Birmingham defense attorney Tommy Spina told Al.com two weeks ago. “It’s wise. And it’s the law. You’re not being a loyal friend by enabling the moment.”
Brandon Miller Could Have Used Better Judgment
Some Alabama fans have said Miller was trying to help his friend Miles, who was in danger. According to police, Harris and her boyfriend were the ones in danger. Davis shot first.
“This is a tragic and regrettable reminder that we all have a moral duty to deescalate moments that could lead to violence,” Spina said.
Miller escalated the moment. Morant was being stupid. Both should have been suspended.
Unlike the NBA, the NFL or MLB, the NCAA usually does not get involved in individual disciplinary issues of players with its member institutions.
“The NCAA defers to local law enforcement and schools’ internal policies and procedures,” NCAA director of communications Meghan Durham told OutKick Monday.
Note, Durham said “local law enforcement,” not local attorneys defending a star player.
OutKick contacted the SEC office Monday for comment from commissioner Greg Sankey concerning what his role is with discipline, or lack thereof, concerning athletes at member institutions. There has been no response.
Did SEC Shun Brandon Miller’s Excellent Week?
But the SEC may have made a subtle commentary on Feb. 27 when Miller did not win SEC player of the week or even freshman of the week. He averaged 32.5 points a game the previous week – more than any other league player. He also scored 41 points at South Carolina that week – more than any other SEC player all season. And he averaged 7 rebounds a game.
Instead, Kentucky’s Oscar Tschiebwe won player of the week after averaging 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. OK, that was close.
But Miller also did not receive freshman of the week. That went to Arkansas’ Nick Smith, who averaged only 25 points and 3.5 rebounds a game that week, which included a loss to Alabama and Miller. Miller just won SEC player and freshman of the year, but that was on a vote by coaches. The league did not vote to honor him. The Associated Press tends to only focus on what happens on the court in determining its various awards, including the SEC honors Miller just received Tuesday.
But another national entity has also commented in a way on Miller. The 26-member committee of the Wooden Award that the Los Angeles Athletic Club gives out annually to the best college basketball player has excluded Miller from its 15 finalists announced over the weekend.
The Wooden Award, though, considers off-court behavior. According to its mission statement, it goes to “model citizens who exhibit strength of character both on and off the court.”
This is why the Wooden Award left LSU star Ben Simmons off its list in 2016. Simmons’ grade point average was below the necessary 2.0 at the time before he became the first pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. Then-LSU coach Johnny Jones also disciplined him that year for missing classes.
Miller did not show strength of character when he decided to enter a situation that he should have known or likely did know was dangerous. A friend at The Strip asked for his gun after 1 a.m. Duh.
Messages keep coming. Maybe one day, Alabama will get one.
2 CommentsLeave a Reply
‘Cause the NBA is all about making money and Alabama athletics is, well, never mind.
Kudos to OUTKICK for keeping the heat on about this. We all know how hypocritical Alabama fans are being. If it were Auburn, those same Alabama fans would be bulldozing Toomers Corner. … So … how are Grizzies fans dealing w/ Ja and his crew and his gun ??? Are they just another species of “Bama fans” or being responsible citizens ???