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What did Grizzlies headcoach Taylor Jenkins say about Ja Morant’s situation?

It’s been a complicated time for Ja Morant recently and following his coach’s comments, it’s not exactly clear that it’s going to change anytime soon.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 23, 2023, Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies reacts during the second quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.   Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP - Morant was suspended by his team for at least two games on March 4, 2023, after posting a video where he appeared to display a gun in a nightclub. The Grizzlies issued a statement saying that Morant "will be away from the team for at least the next two games". (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)

With the NBA continuing to investigate while he serves his team suspension, it may yet be that the 2019 No. 2 pick overall finds himself with even heavier sanctions. At any rate, what we do know is that it’s going to take some doing for him to clear this up.

Grizzlies’ Taylor Jenkins discusses Ja Morant’s way back

If there was one thing that was clear from the statement made by Grizzlies head coach, Taylor Jenkins, it’s that it’s not clear what exactly Ja Morant has to do to return to the team. Speaking to the media, Jenkins declined to share specifics, but did give insight as to the steps that his All-Star player would need to take. Jenkins’ comments of course follow his previous statement in which he announced that Morant would be sidelined for at least another four games.

“I can’t share details. There’s definitely steps that are going to need to be met personally and professionally as he deals with some stuff personally to get better. Then obviously the expectations on the team, he’s going to have some things that he’s going to have to clear to know what the expectations are when he does return. Again, he’s out at least the next four games. I know everyone wants to know what’s this going to be. It’s the hot topic for sure, but he’s taking time. His responsibility to get better personally - that’s a big factor in this. And also, his responsibility to the team is something we’re addressing with him. He’s fully on board and has been communicative with our group.”

What can we assume about Ja Morant’s situation?

At this point, the one thing we can assume is that Grizzlies believe Morant has some more ground to cover before he can rejoin the team. The fact that they’ve given no firm timeline for a return only serves to underscore that fact. Consider for a moment, that even before the infamous video appeared on social media in which he appears to be holding a gun in a night club, Morant already had his name in the league’s ‘black book.’ Just days before this latest controversy, the 23-year-old was facing allegations of assault against a teenager who he reportedly threatened with a gun.

There were also reports of threats made against the head of security of a Memphis mall and we should also mention an incident involving the staff of the Indiana Pacers, who claimed that someone in Morant’s vehicle aimed a red laser at them following a Grizzlies game. This is all to say, that there has been a chronology of events leading to this point.

Consensus? Ja Morant has to do better

Looking at the big picture, it’s probably a stretch to make judgements about Morant’s character, but we can certainly critique his judgement or rather, lack thereof. For his part, it must be said that Morant issued a seemingly sincere apology, and he did in fact avoid any criminal charges. Yet, when all is said and done, he’s going to have to prove that the obvious talent he has on the court, is backed up by maturity off it. As for the Grizzlies who sit on a record of 38-26 and have lost two of their three games since his suspension, they’ll be hoping he can do that sooner rather than later.


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