What did the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant say after his return in the team’s 130-125 win?
After the controversy and subsequent suspension that followed his now infamous social media post, the Grizzlies star has now returned and he’s loving it.
The Grizzlies welcomed back their star player after he had completed his eight-game suspension for ‘conduct detrimental to the league’ and by all accounts it would appear he didn’t miss a beat as he helped the team on their way to an important win
Ja Morant returns after suspension in Grizzlies win
On Wednesday night, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant came off the bench for the first time in his career and as he did so, you could tell he was missed. To a chorus of noise, Morant entered the game late in the first quarter and proceeded to go to work as if he’d never left. By the end of the game, the 23-year-old had played a total of 24 minutes and put 17 points on the board to go with five assists, four rebounds and two steals in what turned out to be a hard fought 130-125 win against the Houston Rockets.
Of course, while much will be made of Morant’s return, it’s got to be said that Jaren Jackson Jr. was stellar on the night, leading the way with 37 points and 10 rebounds. There was also Desmond Bane who put a further 20 points on the board, along with seven assists. With the victory, the Grizzlies now sit on a decent record of 45-27 and are currently ahead of third-place Sacramento by two games with 10 remaining in the regular season.
What did Ja Morant say about his return?
Speaking after the game, Morant couldn’t hide the fact that the amount of support he received during his difficult moment had a profound effect. “It meant a lot. I’m thankful and grateful for everybody that’s been supporting me during this time,” Morant said post-game. “It definitely helped me a lot. It definitely made me feel a little better with everything going on. It felt good to be back. I’m super excited. Glad we were able to get the win.” Incidentally, Morant also admitted that his effort to improve will take time, before explaining that his return is a major step in that direction. As one can imagine, both parties can now begin the process of moving past the immense critique that they came in for after Morant’s actions.
Grizzlies’ Taylor Jenkins weighs in on Ja Morant’s return
What’s interesting to note about Morant’s return, is that it was actually his idea to come off the bench, a move that the coaching staff agreed with in light of the fact that he had come from missing eight games. To that end, it’s understood that he may yet continue in that role for a few more games.
“This was something he brought to the table as well as had been on my mind,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said about the scenario. “So we collectively thought this was the best strategy, at least for the first one or two games. And then we’ll kind of reevaluate after that...Obviously, we don’t have a long runway until the end of the regular season, but we want to be smart with that layoff that we’re not doing anything to jeopardize his health.” If there is one silver lining, it’s that Morant is that their playoff spot is essentially secure barring catastrophe, meaning by the time the postseason arrives, Morant should be good to go.
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