NBA Rookie Emoni Bates Thanks Ja Morant, Miles Bridges For ‘Guiding’ Transition Into League (Yikes)

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Cleveland Cavaliers fans are bullish on rookie forward Emoni Bates, who’s been a total standout in NBA Summer League thus far.

The one hiccup from Bates that draws skepticism around the league is his recent comment on which NBA veterans are guiding him in his transition to the NBA.

Two of the names Bates mentioned raised a ton of eyebrows.

The Eastern Michigan product (who played a short stint with the Memphis Tigers) spoke with the media on Monday.


When asked which NBA vets have shown him support, Emoni Bates mentioned Cleveland star Donovan Mitchell, the “Slim Reaper” Kevin Durant and Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray, also thanking Ja Morant and Miles Bridges for their guidance.

Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets is restrained after being ejected from game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

NBA’s Worst Are ‘Influencing’ Emoni Bates

As far as reputations go, Morant and Bridges are two of the worst names Bates could have cited for inspiration.


In one corner, you have Morant. The Grizzlies star’s heavily documented misbehavior off the court cost him millions on the court. The NBA punished Morant in June: assigning him a 25-game suspension for the 2023-24 season.

Ja Morant Files Countersuit Against Teenager He Allegedly Hit
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)

From brandishing weapons on social media to allegedly assaulting a teenager during a heated pickup game, Morant is far from a North Star for good behavior.

Then there’s Miles Bridges, whose terrible judgment eclipses Morant.


Bridges was an ascending star for the Charlotte Hornets. In 2022, Bridges’ domestic assault allegations sidelined his career for an entire season. He was arrested for allegedly beating his wife before his two children; the incident occurred on the eve of NBA free agency. Miles Bridges expected an elite deal heading into the FA period.

Like Morant, Bridges is a talented NBA player. However, poor decision-making has lowered the ceiling about his future.

Emoni Bates put up another star-making performance against the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday: logging 20 points on 8 of 13 shooting and seven rebounds. The one glaring knock draft analysts noted for Bates was his spotty reputation in college.

In 2022, Bates was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm and altering the weapon’s registration information.

With Morant as his influence, Bates must consider what type of “sharpshooter” he wants to become in the NBA.

On Monday, Emoni Bates and the Cavs will face off against the Houston Rockets for the NBA Summer League crown.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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