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  • Cooper Burke

Grizzlies Star Ja Morant Returns After Lengthy Suspension

After a long absence, Ja Morant heads back to the court. The NBA issued Morant a 25-game ban for showing a gun in two separate incidents. For baseball fans, this would be the equivalent of a 49-game suspension, or a five-game suspension in the NFL. Morant’s return to the NBA comes amidst his battle with the US civil court system. He was not charged in the incident involving a 17-year-old teen where he punched a teen in a pickup basketball game.

However, the teen, Joshua Holloway, pressed a civil lawsuit. Morant testified in court, leading to several humorous incidents where he had to explain to a lawyer, as well as a judge, what “checking” a basketball meant, along with the proper etiquette for the situation. Morant testified that he felt that Holloway was going to throw the ball at him, using it as a “weapon”. Throwing a ball at someone He also testified that Holloway hiked up his shorts, something seen as a fighting gesture in the South.

Elsewhere in the NBA, Morant’s suspension came as he was spotted flashing a gun for a second time on Instagram live. This incident occurred inside a Denver strip club, where Morant was rapping along with a song and flashed a gun to the camera.

“Ja Morant’s decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement when the suspension was issued. “The potential for other young people to emulate Ja’s conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.”

The Grizzlies were slated to make a huge run after making the playoffs last year, but in Morant’s absence, they have become one of the worst teams in the NBA. They lead the league in opponent points allowed with 106.0, and opponent field goal percentage at 43.4%. With Morant back on the floor, the Grizzlies look to turn the ship around in Memphis. They hope to make a run at the playoffs, despite being in the basement of the Western Conference leading up to the first quarter of the season.

They are currently 7-19, third to last in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies won tonight 115-113 thanks to Ja Morant's return. Ja Morant had 34 points along with 8 rebounds and 6 assists with a gamewinner to top it off.

The whole NBA awaits the resurgence of Ja Morant, as he is one of the most electric players in the game. Basketball needs an electric high-flying guard like Morant, and he figures to make a massive impact in Memphis.

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