Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant has entered a counseling program in Florida as his return to the NBA this season still remains without a timetable.
Morant had earlier hinted that he’ll be seeking assistance after the video where he was holding a gun went viral. In his statement “I am going to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being”
The franchise, Memphis Grizzlies, announced that Morant, 23, would be out at least through Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat, but weren’t precise on his exact return to the team.
The Grizzlies seems to prioritize Morant’s desire and need to get help after the viral video incident of him brandishing a gun at a suburban Denver nightclub on his Instagram live feed March 4.
The NBA still has an ongoing investigation into the matter, and Memphis officials have repeatedly indicated publicly that Morant will be held accountable for a pattern of questionable decision-making and behavior.
Before the Grizzlies’ 104-88 win against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters that, “Ja’s fully engaged in this process and ready for whatever comes after the next two games.”
“I’ve said that he’s taking time and responsibility to get better for himself so that he can be better for our team, I’m not going to really comment further until there’s more updates necessary.”
Morant reportedly has maintained contact with his teammates, as he continues to participate in the Grizzlies’ group text chain and talks to some Memphis players over the phone.
Grizzlies point guard Tyus Jones commented recently on Ja’s situation saying “His spirit has been great so far when I have spoken to him, It’s a unique time. There comes times in life when you’ve got to put yourself first before your family, before basketball, before a lot of other stuff, and I don’t know if a lot of guys have ever done that. It’s a time where he’s getting to put himself first, and I think he’s taken advantage of that. I hope he’s taking advantage of that, and it will be good for him.
“Basketball will be here. We support him. We have his back. He knows that, and that’s just what I try to reiterate to him.”
It should be recalled that Morant began the subject viral video via his Instagram Live session at 5:19 a.m. ET, hours after the Grizzlies’ 113-97 loss to the Denver Nuggets on March 4.
In the video, he was seen holding up a handgun with his left hand.
Reacting afterwards, He made a public apology in a statement release, in his words, “I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down,” the statement read. “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.”
He also deactivated both his Instagram and Twitter accounts later that day when it happened.
Nike, which has a brand signature shoe line with Morant, also publicly supported him in a statement release. In their words, “We appreciate Ja’s accountability and that he is taking the time to get the help he needs,” the statement read. “We support his prioritization of his well-being.”
Morant, is a two-time All-Star, a former NBA rookie of the year and most improved player in the league. His five-year, $231 million extension with Memphis Grizzlies begins with the 2023-24 season.