NBA suspends Ja 25 games after second gun video incident

The league handed Morant a 25-game suspension for the start of the 2023-24 season

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The NBA has suspended Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant 25 games "for conduct detrimental to the league" following an investigation into a second incident where he flashed a gun during a live social media video.

The league said the suspension will begin at the start of the 2023-24 regular season and that he will need to meet certain conditions before he can return to the court.

"Ja Morant's decision to once again wield a firearm on social media is alarming and disconcerting given his similar conduct in March for which he was already suspended eight games," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "The potential for other young people to emulate Ja's conduct is particularly concerning. Under these circumstances, we believe a suspension of 25 games is appropriate and makes clear that engaging in reckless and irresponsible behavior with guns will not be tolerated.

"For Ja, basketball needs to take a back seat at this time. Prior to his return to play, he will be required to formulate and fulfill a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior."

Morant had already been suspended from all Grizzlies team activities pending the league's review after he was shown waving a firearm while sitting in the passenger seat of a car during an Instagram Live video on May 13. The league determined that Morant "intentionally and prominently" displayed the gun during that video.

That incident came just two months after Morant broadcasted himself flashing a gun while in a Denver club on Instagram Live. Morant was subsequently suspended for eight games by the NBA. He also stepped away from the Grizzlies and entered a counseling program.

"I've had time to reflect and realize how much hurt I've caused," Morant said in a statement on Friday. "I want to apologize to the NBA, the Grizzlies, my teammates and the city of Memphis. To Adam Silver, Zach Kleiman and Robert Pera -- who gave me the opportunity to be a professional athlete and have supported me -- I'm sorry for the harm I've done. To the kids who look up to me, I'm sorry for failing you as a role model. I promise I'm going to be better. To all my sponsors, I'm going to be a better representation of our brands. And to all of my fans, I'm going to make it up to you, I promise.

"I'm spending the offseason and my suspension continuing to work on my own mental health and decision making. I'm also going to be training so that I'm ready to go when I can be back on the court. I know my teammates are going to hold it down and I'm so sorry I won't be out there with you at the beginning of the season.

"I hope you'll give me the chance to prove to you over time I'm a better man than what I've been showing you."

Morant, 23, was the NBA's Most Improved Player in 2021-22 and has two All-Star nods. He signed a five-year, $193 million contract extension with the Grizzlies last offseason.

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