Morant suspended 25 games by NBA after second league violation

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has been suspended 25 games to kick off the 2023-24 season. The NBA announced Morant’s suspension on June 16, approximately one month following the point guard being seen flashing an apparent gun on Instagram Live for the second time in just a few months.

Morant will also be required to meet certain conditions before returning to play. He will be suspended without pay.

The Grizzlies’ two-time All-Star and face of the league has been suspended from all team activities since May 14, but in an attempt to keep the focus on the NBA Finals between the Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat, NBA commissioner Adam Silver decided to delay his announcement of Morant’s suspension.

Don’t think 25 games is a lot? First of all, 25 games for an NBA player is substantial. Secondly, this is a strategic move for Adam Silver. Being suspended 25 games automatically disqualifies Morant from winning postseason awards, per the NBA’s new rules requiring players to play at least 65 games for such accolades.

At the same time, Silver didn’t want to reprimand the Grizzlies for Morant’s mistakes. Theoretically, getting Morant back before Christmas allows the team to get back in rhythm alongside Morant to finish with some momentum heading into the All-Star break in order to make their presumed playoff run.

In my opinion, this suspension is the best-case scenario for all parties. The NBA got its message across by punishing Morant, barring him from any individual accolades, and the Grizzlies won’t suffer too much from Morant’s mistakes.

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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