NBA superstar Ja Morant apologises after brandishing gun in nightclub

Ja Morant on-court heroics haven't been matched by his off-court conduct. <i>Photo: Getty</i>

Ja Morant on-court heroics haven't been matched by his off-court conduct. Photo: Getty

The NBA has opened an investigation into a social media post by Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant after he livestreamed himself holding what appeared to be a gun at a club.

The video was streamed by Morant to his Instagram page early on Saturday, and it was not archived once he stopped the stream.

“We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Saturday.

The Grizzlies later announced that Morant will miss at last their next two NBA games, providing no further comment.

Morant issued a statement through the agency that represents him.

“I take full responsibility for my actions last night,” Morant said.

“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.”

Memphis are currently second in the Western Conference standings, led by Morant, a two-time All-Star averaging 27.1 points and 8.2 assists per game.

Superstar profile

Morant, the No.2 pick in the 2019 NBA draft, has become a full-fledged superstar. His five-year, $US194 million extension with the Grizzlies kicks in to start next season and would rise to about $US230 million if he makes an All-NBA team this season.

He also is a sought-after endorser. On Christmas, Nike unveiled Morant’s first signature shoe, which is set to be released in the coming weeks. And earlier this week, Powerade announced a multiyear endorsement deal with Morant.

This is at least the second time in the last few weeks that Morant has been the subject of a league investigation. Morant’s actions were investigated by the league after a January 29 incident in Memphis that he said led to a friend of his being banned from home games there for a year.

That incident was following a game against the Indiana Pacers; citing unnamed sources, The Indianapolis Star and USA Today reported that multiple members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and The Athletic reported that a Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun.

The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals were banned from the arena but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.

Morant responded to that incident by tweeting that the reports “paint this negative image on me and my fam. & banned my brother from home games for a year. unbelievable.”


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