Memphis Grizzles star Ja Morant was suspended for 2 games after he flashed a handgun in an Instagram Live video.
The Grizzlies front office announced Saturday afternoon that Morant “will be away from the team for at least the next two games.” The suspension means he will not suit up to play Sunday against the LA Clippers or Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN.
The NBA is investigating after Morant appeared in an Instagram Live video at a nightclub early Saturday following the team’s loss to the Denver Nuggets. Morant was shirtless and appeared to be holding a .380 pistol.
“We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” NBA spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement.
The suspension comes days after sports analyst Shannon Sharpe said Morant is headed for self-destruction. The 23-year-old point guard is accused of punching a 17-year-old boy multiple times in the head and threatening him with a gun during an altercation last year.
The incident happened during a pickup basketball game at his house last summer. Police didn’t arrest Morant because he claimed he was acting in self-defense.
During an episode of FOX Sports’ “Undisputed”, Sharpe criticized Morant for portraying himself as a street thug and a gang banger with a $300 million NBA contract.
“You’ve got Ja who has a $200M-$300M contract with the Memphis Grizzlies,” the NFL legend said. “He’s the new face, he’s got a signature shoe deal from Nike… He portrays like he’s something that he’s not… He’s hustling backwards. You’re supposed to, once you get out of that environment, leave that behind like that ain’t me. Ja, you just gotta move differently.”
“Ja, you can’t put yourself in this situation,” Sharpe continued. “People lie. People have been known to lie. And I’m not saying this young man is lying, but sometimes celebrities or entertainers find themselves in situations where people lie because Ja has a name and everybody knows who he is and they know what he has… Ja, just move differently.”
Morant is also accused of threatening a mall security guard in a parking lot last summer.
Unc Shannon sharpe spittin facts on Ja Morant ??? pic.twitter.com/bsVDMfTkwn
— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) March 2, 2023