Ja Morant found himself in hot water again this past weekend when he flashed a gun on Instagram Live. NBA commentators Stephen A. Smith and Jalen Rose spoke about the situation on SportsCenter and expressed their disdain for his continued misbehavior in the public eye.
“Incredibly disappointed. Disgusted,” Smith said during a Sunday (May 14) ESPN broadcast. “Wondering what the hell is wrong with him? And it really comes down to that. This is a man that is universally recognized in NBA circles as being a highly, highly intelligent individual. This is stupidity, and you know he’s not stupid, so what would be the reason? Does he have other problems that we don’t know about?”
The 55-year-old went on to outline everything that the Memphis Grizzlies point guard has ruined (or almost ruined) for himself, namely being suspended for eight games during the regular season, costing himself over $600,000 and jeopardizing his deals with Nike and Powerade.
“Keep this in mind: this is self-inflicted,” the First Take host continued. “This isn’t some report from TMZ where something was dug up the archives, you found out something, no. The first time he got suspended that was only on his own Instagram account. And this second time he’s with someone and they literally go Instagram Live, so you’re clearly not surrounding yourself with people who are looking out for your best interest.”
Jalen Rose spoke more about the people that Ja Morant surrounds himself with and how he is risking all of their livelihoods. “It is unfortunate and in times like this what ends up happening is people will blame the people around him or blame certainly family members or certain friends, but those relationship dynamics change when you get drafted,” the retired hooper said.
“When you’re sitting at the draft, these are your friends and family but a lot of times once you get drafted, this is your staff. These are people that work for you, that helped you achieve your goal. Now you’re trying to put them in position to maintain theirs.”
He continued, “So it’s irresponsible because, as Stephen A. mentioned, you have so much to gain yet so very much to lose and in particular, both times have been with guns which is something you definitely shouldn’t be playing with in any way shape or form.”
Ja Morant was spotted showing off a gun on Instagram Live on Saturday (May 13). Per the video, he was in the car with one of his friends who broadcasted live from his own account while they sang along to NBA YoungBoy. As the friend turned the camera to Ja, he raised a gun near his face. The friend attempted to quickly turn the camera away, but the internet was able to get screenshots and screen recordings of the moment.
Shams Charania, Senior Lead NBA Insider for The Athletic, reported that the 2020 Rookie Of The Year was suspended from all Memphis Grizzlies activities on Sunday morning.