Ja Morant Struggles to Stay Stable

By Jack Glassman – Sports Editor

Going from zero to hero when getting drafted in the NBA is not easy for any players as some end up losing their wealth rather quickly due to poor allocation of money. Other than financial change, new players also experience a sense of fame they never could’ve imagined of hitting. Both of these large changes cause some players to go slightly off the rails. 

Ja Morant, one of the top point guards in the NBA, has been accused of many different illegal acts over the past couple years. There have been multiple young NBA players over the decades who have been affiliated with unsafe friend groups in their early years in the NBA – but, there haven’t been many with Morant’s potential, so many prominent NBA figures heavily encourage him to get on the right path.

After going on Instagram live and flashing a gun, Morant was suspended from the Grizzlies for two games, forcing him to release a statement. “I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being,” said Morant.

Morant is on a path to receive a 235 million dollar contract from the Grizzlies, but many people are pushing him to change his behavior. “Ja is a really good basketball player. Ja did everything he could to lift his family out of this kind of environment…you got a 200 million dollar contract and you want people in the NBA to think you’re hood or gangsta because you roll with these type of people, but you’re putting yourself in harm’s way when you don’t have to!” said talk show host  Shannon Sharpe of Undisputed on Fox Sports.

“If you’re in the NBA, you literally made it, you have got to make those sacrifices if you want to have long-lasting wealth and a long-lasting career,” added senior Matt Baur.

Rather than this issue solely having to do with Morant, Junior Ryan Brown says that it is a Memphis Grizzlies issue. , “It definitely could be a team issue. I mean I’m not in that locker room but Ja could definitely surround himself with better people outside of basketball,” said Brown.

Senior David Chorney says many people fail to realize Morant’s true lifestyle growing up. “Ja grew up with a full family and went to prep school so this persona he’s trying to take on isn’t real, he isn’t about that kind of life,” he said.

The NBA announced Wednesday afternoon that Morant’s suspension would be extended further from the one originally given from the Grizzlies. “Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has been suspended eight games without pay for conduct detrimental to the league,” read the statement.

It is important that the NBA dealt with this situation in the way that they did to show other players and fans that Morant’s behavior is not okay. “I think they need to deal with Ja seriously…if the NBA is tolerating drugs, gangs, violence, and guns and sweep that kind of activity under the rug, then kids are going to grow up trying to follow that path,” said Baur.

Regardless of his dumb behavior, many people in the NBA community still want to see Morant do well. “You don’t gotta be about that life, just be about hooping and getting your damn lettuce,” said Kendrick Perkins of First Take on ESPN.

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