NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


What punishment could Ja Morant receive for firearm video? When will he know?

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver responded to the scandal involving Ja Morant in a press conference ahead of the first Nuggets-Heat game.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver responded to the scandal involving Ja Morant in a press conference ahead of the first Nuggets-Heat game.
Petre ThomasUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that the result of the investigation into Ja Morant, who posted a video showing a firearm on social media, will be known after the Finals series between the Nuggets and the Heat has concluded. The Nuggets took Game 1 of the series 104-93 in Denver on Thursday.

Silver was keen to make it clear that for now, the focus should be solely on the NBA Final - a series that will be broadcast in 214 countries worldwide and in 60 languages and that the time will come to make decisions on the Morant case.

“In assessing what discipline is appropriate, if that’s the case, we look at both the history of prior acts but then we look at the individual player’s history as well. And of course the seriousness of the conduct, so those are all the things that get factored - it’s not an exact science, it comes down to judgement at the end of the day on the part of me and my colleagues in the league office,” Silver told reporters in the press conference prior to the start of the Finals.

“In terms of the timing, we’ve uncovered a fair amount of additional information since I was last asked about the situation. I would say we probably could have brought it to a head now but we made the decision and I believe the Players’ Association agrees with us that it would be unfair to these players and these teams (the Nuggets and the Heat), in the middle of this series to announce the results of that investigation - and given, of course, that we are in the offseason, he has now been suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies, indefinitely, so nothing would have changed anyway in the next few weeks. It seemed better to park that at the moment - at least any public announcement. I sense now that after the conclusion of the finals, we will announce the outcome of that investigation,” he added.

Morant whips out firearm in strip club

In March, Morant pulled out a gun during an IG Live stream while he and friends were partying at Shotgun Willie’s, a Denver strip club. He was subsequently hit with an eight-game suspension - punishment which Silver feels was not too light.

“I’ve thought about it,” he said, “ For me at the time, an eight-game suspension seemed very serious, and the conversation we had, and Tamika Tremaglio from the Players Association was there, as well, felt heartfelt and serious. But I think he understood that it wasn’t about his words. It was going to be about his future conduct. I guess in hindsight, I don’t know. If it had been a 12-game suspension instead of an eight-game suspension, would that have mattered? I know it seemed based on precedent, and he’s represented, and we want to be fair in terms of the league, it seemed appropriate at the time. That’s all I can say”.

Morant was suspended for eight games without pay on 16 March. The NBA did not conclude that the gun that appeared in the live stream belonged to Morant, or was brought into the nightclub by him. Violent conduct however, is not tolerated in the league and Morant could be facing a longer suspension. Ron Artest was served an 86-game ban for punching a fan and instigating a mass brawl in the infamous 1997 Malice at the Palace incident.

If the 2023 NBA finals goes to seven games, the final decision on Morant’s punishment won’t be known until 19 June at the very earliest.

Russell remembered

Elsewhere during his briefing with the press, Silver remembered Bill Russell, an NBA legend and 11-time champion with the Boston Celtics, who died last August at the age of 88, rocking the world of basketball.

He also considered it appropriate that for players to be eligible for postseason awards, they should have played a minimum of 65 games. A third of the players who were among the NBA prize winners would not have been eligible this year if that rule were in place, and Silver said that move would encourage many players to compete more.


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?