Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has entered counseling in Florida and is not expected to play with the team for the foreseeable future. There is no set date for his return to the court. Morant was suspended following an Instagram Live video in which he brandished a gun at a strip club in Colorado. Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins revealed there are ongoing internal discussions and league-level communications concerning his possible return. The Glendale Police Department in Colorado has decided not to press charges against the 23-year-old over the gun incident.
Morant is seen as one of the top players in the league at present, leading the Grizzlies with an average of 27.1 points per game, and had the team in contention as one of the top teams in the Western Conference before his suspension. However, without Morant, they will have to work hard to stay afloat. The Grizzlies are eight games above .500 and have a chance to make the playoffs this year. The scale of his absence could potentially end these playoff hopes. The outlook is definitely bleak for Memphis fans until his return.
The Grizzlies have a strong supporting cast made up of Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks, among others, but they will have to step up and fill the void left by Morant. Morant is expected to open up following his therapy and counseling sessions. Many fans hope he will return as a stronger person and player. Grizzlies fans would be hoping that he can return as soon as possible before the team’s hopes of making the playoffs are lost. Morant has the talent to elevate the team to new heights should he return motivated and focused.
This isn’t the first time an NBA player has been suspended for reckless behavior, and it likely won’t be the last. Mental health is a prevalent concern in the game, and athletes are under immense pressure to perform consistently. Ja’s decision to take time off to address potential mental issues is a positive step towards ensuring his long-term health and stability, which can only be a good thing for him and his team. His decision could be a positive example and influence, inspiring others in a similar situation or urging other players to prioritize mental health, potentially helping to break the stigma surrounding seeking help.