How long is Ja Morant’s suspension? What are the conditions for reinstatement?
Things are not looking good for Ja Morant, who’s been suspended by the NBA for quite some time.
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has been handed a 25-game suspension by the NBA for the start of the 2023-2024 season.
The suspension will come with specific conditions that need to be met before Morant can return to action, as revealed by sources to ESPN. The NBA’s investigation into the incident had been concluded several weeks ago. Still, Commissioner Adam Silver chose to announce the suspension after the NBA Finals to avoid distracting from the championship series.
On May 14, the Grizzlies suspended Morant from team activities pending a review by the league following the circulation of a video on social media that showed the All-Star displaying a firearm. This suspension follows another incident in March when Morant was seen holding a handgun while under the influence at a club in the Denver area during an Instagram Live session. The NBA had previously suspended him for eight games as a response to that incident.
Morant then voluntarily sought counseling in a Florida facility to improve his stress management skills. He later traveled to New York City and met with Commissioner Silver at the league’s headquarters 11 days after the incident.
Commissioner Silver’s decision to suspend Morant for eight games, without pay, was based on his conduct being detrimental to the league. This punishment accounted for the six games Morant had already missed. Silver issued a firm statement condemning Morant’s behavior, stating his conduct was “irresponsible, reckless, and potentially very dangerous.”
“I think he understood that it wasn’t about his words,” Silver said during his news conference before Game 1 of the NBA Finals. “It was going to be about his future conduct.
The Instagram Live video that surfaced in May originated from the account of Davonte Pack, who happens to be Morant’s closest friend. Pack has been involved in multiple off-court incidents alongside Morant, which prompted investigations by the league office.
Following an investigation into a postgame altercation with the Indiana Pacers’ traveling party on January 29, during which an alleged incident involving a red laser pointed out of an SUV occurred while Morant was present, Pack was banned from attending Grizzlies home games for a year.
During Commissioner Silver’s news conference at the Finals on June 1, he stated that several factors would be taken into consideration when determining the length of the suspension. These factors include the history of prior incidents involving the individuals involved, the player’s personal history, and the severity of the conduct displayed.
Morant’s anticipated five-year, $194 million maximum contract was set to begin in the upcoming season, and could have escalated to a supermax if he had been selected for the all-NBA team this season. Unfortunately, Morant did not secure that, resulting in an approximate loss of $39 million in potential future earnings.