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Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant now under criminal investigation after gun incident

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Troubled Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant continues to find himself in hot water after the youngster posted a video on social media early Saturday morning of himself brandishing a gun while at a strip club in a Denver suburb.

Morant, 23, is currently away from the Grizzlies as the NBA conducts its own investigation into the incident.

We now have more information courtesy of officials in Colorado. It’s certainly not good for the two-time All-Star guard.

According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne and Liz Merrill, the Glendale Police Department in Colorado confirmed that the incident did indeed happen. The department also said that it is investigating whether Ja Morant broke any gun laws in the state.

Per the report, Colorado is an open-carry state. However, it is illegal in the state to possess a gun while under the influence of alcohol. We have no idea whether Morant was drinking at the time. But the video he shared on Instagram Live did show others in his party drinking. Meanwhile, NBA rules prohibit players from possessing a firearm while on team property.

In Denver to take on the Nuggets at the time of the incident, it’s an open question how Morant was able to get the gun to the strip club.

Ja Morant incident appears to be just the beginning

ja morant criminal investigation
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the past several weeks, reports have come up linking Morant to a pattern of troubling behavior. A 17-year-old boy accused Morant of hitting him 12 or 13 times in the head before pulling out a gun during a pickup basketball game last summer.

It was also last week that The Washington Post reported an incident allegedly involving Morant threatening the head of security at a Memphis mall during an altercation in the parking lot.

As for this most-recent incident, there’s a darn good chance that the NBA will step in and hand Morant a lengthy suspension for his actions. As noted above, he’s away from the team. Morant did release a statement over the weekend, too.

“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,” Ja Morant said in a statement.

As for a potential return to the Grizzlies, head coach Taylor Jenkins said that there’s no timetable. From an on-court perspective, this is not ideal. But there’s much more serious layers to the latest incident involving Morant than basketball.