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NY Post
New York Post
3 Jun 2023

NextImg:NBA world worries Ja Morant won’t be alive in 5 years: Stephen A. Smith

As the NBA world awaits the conclusion of the Ja Morant investigation, some in league circles are worried about things much more weighty than when he’ll return to the court.

In an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” this week, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said there’s real concern around the NBA not just Morant’s basketball career, but his life.

“In terms of Ja Morant’s behavior off the court, some of the things he finds himself engaged in, with the company that he keeps, with the establishments that he visits, things of that nature. Obviously, he feels compelled, pretty much all the time, to have a gun around him.

“A lot of players I know are from the streets, period. And I can tell you that people within the NBA community are not just concerned about Ja Morant playing basketball. They’re concerned about whether or not he’s gonna be alive in five years.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said before Game 1 of the Finals between the Nuggets and Heat that the league will wait until after the series to reveal the results of the investigation.

Silver was cryptic in his comments about the Memphis Grizzlies star, hinting that there may be more to what the public already knows.

Ja Morant appeared to hold a firearm in an Instagram Live video in May 2023.


Stephen A. Smith

Stephen A. Smith said the NBA world worries about Ja Morant’s well-being.
Getty Images for SiriusXM

“We’ve uncovered a fair amount of additional information,” Silver said. “We probably could have brought it to a head now, but we’ve made the decision that it would be unfair to these players and these teams to announce that decision in the middle of this series.”

It’s been more than a year’s worth of controversies for the 2019 No. 2 overall pick and All-NBA guard.

In the latest incident, Morant appeared to flash a gun in a car during a May 13 Instagram Live video — the second time he’s brandished a weapon on social media since March.

“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me,” Morant said in a statement after the video went viral. “This is a journey, and I recognize there is more work to do,” he said in his only public comments since the latest firearm incident.

“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.”

Morant, who was banned eight games for the March incident, is now suspended from all Grizzlies team activities after appearing in the recent Instagram Live video.

Ja Morant

The results of the most recent Ja Morant investigation won’t be revealed until after the NBA Finals.
Getty Images

Before the first suspension, Silver slammed Morant’s conduct.

“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” he said in a statement. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.”

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