Associated press3 minute read
LOS ANGELES — There’s no timetable for Ja Morant’s return to the Memphis Grizzlies, and the All-Star guard knows he’s made “tough decisions and bad choices” for which he must be responsible, a said coach Taylor Jenkins Sunday night.
Morant was not with the Los Angeles team for games against the Clippers on Sunday and the Lakers on Tuesday as the NBA investigates a social media post in which Morant appeared to be holding a gun.
“Very difficult moment, of course,” Jenkins said of the video.
Morant posted the video to his Instagram account early Saturday of himself holding what appeared to be a gun in a nightclub, hours after playing in Denver. He said in a statement through the agency that represents him that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions and would “take time to get help”.
“He understands he’s made tough decisions and bad choices in the past that he has to account for,” Jenkins said. “He definitely accepts the mistakes he made, but only time will tell. We are going to support him and we are going to hold him accountable for making these changes.”
Jenkins declined to outline the steps Morant must take to join the team, saying: “We love him, we want the best for him, we support him. It will be a difficult process, but we have a large group to go through there.”
He called it “an ongoing healing process.”
The league, if it finds wrongdoing, could fine or suspend Morant.
Morant has also been under league investigation after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he says resulted in a friend of his being banned from home games for a year. This incident happened after a game against the Indiana Pacers. Several outlets reported that members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and a team security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun.
The NBA confirmed that anonymous people were banned from the arena, but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.
“It’s a tough time for a youngster who has to grow and improve,” Jenkins said. “He has huge responsibilities not only for the team, for the city, but I know how he built himself with this care factor and what steps he is taking now. It’s a step in the direction of being truly the best version of himself.”
Jenkins described Morant as “a generally amazing person, great family, father, brother, son, member of our community”.
“I hope he gets better,” Jenkins said. “He knows he has a lot of love and support.”