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Memphis Grizzlies coach talks Ja Morant, offers little info on potential return

Controversial Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was initially suspended by the team for “at least” two games this past Saturday after footage surfaced of the guard flashing a gun in an Instagram video.

Morant currently remains suspended in what will be his fourth game missed. On Thursday, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins met with the media regarding Morant’s return.

Here’s a portion of what Jenkins had to say.

“I can’t share details. There’s definitely steps that are going to need to be met personally and professionally to get better as he deals with some stuff personally to get better. Then obviously the expectations on the team, he’s going to have some things that he’s going to have to clear to know what the expectations are when he does return.

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins on Ja Morant (Tim MacMahon)

There’s so much to read into this vaguely worded quote. Jenkins is more or less telling us Morant is working on “some stuff.” The second sentence alone sounds like a riddle.

Ultimately, though, it sounds like a series of multiple steps — whatever they are — will be required in order for Morant to get the green light and return to the court. But the way Jenkins puts it, it’s easy to get the sense that perhaps he doesn’t have any sense of a true timetable.

There’s a whole lot of “TBD” being thrown around the room, with the only concrete information being that Morant will 100 percent miss the next four games.

Again, he’s out at least the next four games. I know everyone wants to know what’s this going to be. It’s the hot topic for sure, but he’s taking time. His responsibility to get better personally — that’s a big factor in this. And also, his responsibility to the team is something we’re addressing with him. He’s fully on board and has been communicative with our group.”

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins on Ja Morant

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Grizzlies head coach says team made attempts to help Ja Morant

ja morant
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

While it’s excellent news to hear Morant is fully on board, the “getting better personally” portion lends itself to the great unknown. We simply don’t know what that entails. No one needs to know the gory details, it’s just that the vaguer it gets, the more the speculation mounts.

There’s also this nugget from Jenkins that Chris Herrington of The Daily Memphian dialed in on.

Essentially, Jenkins stated the organization attempted to avoid this exact situation at all costs, but the message was missed or just ignored entirely, and here we are.

What we do know is that one huge step has already been made with the news that Ja Morant had been cleared of his gun-related antics in Colorado. He could still face some kind of penalty for violations of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, although right now that remains completely unclear.

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