Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins announced Thursday that the team had conversations with Ja Morant prior to his viral gun video incident last week.
Per Taylor, the Grizzlies have hoped that Morant won’t dip himself again in controversy but it turned out the opposite eventually, as the All-Star drew flak after flashing a firearm on his Instagram live while partying at a strip club, Saturday.
“We have had conversations in the past trying to guide him and help him continue to evolve as a person and a player,” Jenkins said, per ESPN. “Obviously, this came to a head the other day, so we put this process into action.”
With public outcry going loud on the action he made, Morant proceeded to deliver his apologies as he is taking some time off to focus on his mental well-being. The franchise, for its part, has been vocal in their support ever since for the “healing process” of the embattled star.
Initially suspended for two games, the Grizzlies went on to announce that Morant will miss at least four more games. The investigation of the Glendale authorities is also finally closed upon not finding enough evidence to pursue criminal charges against him.
“There are definitely steps that are going to have to be met — personally and professionally — as he deals with some stuff personally to get better,” Jenkins said.
Morant’s indefinite absence can only add up an added hole on the depleted lineup of the Grizzlies.
With Brandon Clarke (Achilles) out for the remainder of the 2022-23 and Steven Adams (knee) set to miss the remaining games of the regular season, Memphis faces challenges as they continue to maintain their position at the top-two of the Western Conference ladder.
Amid these, Taylor and the Grizzlies can only reiterate that Morant’s recovery will always remain as their sole priority.
“Everyone wants to know what this going to be,” Jenkins said of Morant’s absence. “It’s the hot topic for sure. But he’s taking time. The responsibility to get better personally. That’s a big factor in this.”