Memphis young star Ja Morant repeated the mistake that got him suspended in the first place—flashing a gun.
On Sunday, May 14, 23-year-old Morant was seen with the friend who also got him suspended—Davonte Pack. The NBA star and Pack got sued by a teenager for assault, which stemmed from a pickup basketball game.
With issues like receiving an eight-day suspension and losing $669K, and possibly losing his endorsements, it was expected that Morant might have been enlightened.
Unfortunately, he did not.
His claim that he would “take” some time away from basketball and work on his attitude did age really well. It was rumored that he took a counseling program in Florida to help him deal with his issues.
But after getting suspended on March 4 of 2023, he was back again on the court, helping the Grizzlies win games. It only took ten days for him to get “better.”
Because of this “hastiness,” he is now again in trouble. For the second time, Morant was caught with a gun while in a live Instagram video, all while listening to NBA YoungBoy’s latest album.
His first gun-related issue may have been slightly dismissed and was given another chance for redemption. However, the ‘immaturity’ Ja Morant continues to have will not allow him to leave his situation unscathed.
Will Nike Hit Pause?
Giant athletic shoes and apparel company Nike previously stood by Ja Morant’s earlier infraction. But it seemed like their hopes that the young star would come to his senses are crushed.
His $35.5 million multi-year Nike shoe deal might be in jeopardy. As of this moment, Nike has yet to release a statement anew.
But according to Syracuse professor of sport management Rick Burton, it seemed the company is still figuring out its next move after this fresh gun incident.
“I’m sure the people at Nike are trying to figure [it] out,” he said. “‘Does this make him more relevant to a certain audience? And is this something we’re going to ride out?’”
Also, it is known that Nike does not give up easily. But Morant’s other deal, Powerade, was quick to save themselves from embarrassment and may back out any time soon.
In his first offense, Powerade quickly pulled out their commercial with Morant. In his second offense, the company revealed that although they have a multi-year endorsement deal with the problematic NBA star, it has no “Ja-related content running.”
His team, the Grizzlies have already suspended Morant from all team activities “pending League review.”
What Awaits Ja Morant
Now that Ja Morant committed the same mistake twice, The Commercial Appeal recently had a sit down with beat writer Damichael Cole and sports columnist Mark Giannotto to talk about the consequences of Morant’s latest misstep.
According to Giannotto, since the gun-related issue of the NBA player is not a legal one, the league may reprimand him through his contract. The sports columnist stressed that Morant violated the ambiguous conduct included in the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
If NBA commissioner Adam Silver listens to the clamor of the many, Morant may be slapped with a longer suspension. It could even be for an entire season—if Silver will be stern about the punishment of the stubborn Grizzlies star.