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Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant gets 8-game suspension from NBA

ja morant
Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant has avoided a serious penalty after an investigation from the NBA and will reportedly be able to return to action on March 20.

Ja Morant found himself as the focus of investigations by police in Colorado and the NBA this month. The inquiries began after the 23-year-old posted a video on social media earlier in March where he can be seen brandishing a firearm in a Glendale nightclub.

Authorities in Colorado could not find any evidence of a crime having occurred and chose not to press any charges last week. It seems the NBA could not find any serious violation of the collective bargaining agreement and levied a far less severe penalty than expected on the two-time All-Star Wednesday.

Related: Grizzlies guard Ja Morant enters counseling program with no NBA return in sight

ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was one of the first to report that the league was suspending Ja Morant “for eight games without pay for conduct detrimental” to the NBA. The eight games will include the five he has already missed since last playing on March 3. He will be eligible to return for the Grizzlies’ game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, March 20.

ja morant
Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant stats (2022): 27.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 8.2 APG, 1.1 SPG, 32% 3PT

Following the news of the eight-game suspension, The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania revealed what led the league to make eight the final number in their suspension.

“NBA investigation into Ja Morant did not conclude that the gun belonged to Morant, was brought by him into the nightclub or was displayed by him beyond a brief period … ‘also did not find that Morant possessed the gun while traveling with the team or in any NBA facility.'”

– Shams Charania

If Ja Morant were found to have been traveling for team activities with the firearm, that would have been a major violation of certain CBA by-laws and possibly led to a full-year suspension for the Memphis Grizzlies superstar.

Last week, the four-year NBA veteran entered a counseling program to deal with the issues that led to the recent trouble, as well as reports of punching a teenager after a pickup basketball game at his home last year.

In the five games Morant has missed, the Grizzlies are 3-2.

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