Ja Morant: Memphis Grizzlies lose second straight game without star, who won’t face criminal charges after gun video
(CNN) Dealing with three injuries, the Memphis Grizzlies have removed another player from their backcourt. But this time, it’s because of police and NBA investigations into the team’s star.
The Grizzlies lost their second straight game on Tuesday without star guard Ja Morant, who is under investigation after the 23-year-old posted a video to his Instagram Live on Saturday showing himself holding a gun at a nightclub outside Denver.
Morant apologized for his actions through his representative on Saturday after Memphis announced he would be away from the team.
Morant said he would take time “to get help and work on learning better methods to deal with stress and my overall well-being.”
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said Sunday there is no timetable for Morant’s return. The team tweeted Wednesday that Morant will miss at least four more games, meaning he won’t be back until March 17.
Morant is averaging 27.1 points per game in his fourth NBA season.
The Instagram video, posted early Saturday morning and widely shared on social media, shows Morant briefly flashing what appears to be a gun while listening to music in a nightclub.
The police department in Glendale, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, said Wednesday that the agency will not recommend charges against Morant.
“(The department) was unable to determine that probable cause existed to file any charges. In this case, it should be noted that on the night in question (police) did not receive any calls for service at the nightclub regarding a weapon of any kind,” department officials said in a statement.
No one filed a complaint and investigators concluded no one was threatened or threatened with a weapon, police said.
The league is also investigating the two-time All-Star guard and the video, an NBA spokesman told CNN.
It is not known why Morant was carrying a gun or if it was his. The Grizzlies played in Houston against the Rockets on March 1 before heading to Denver for a game against the Nuggets on March 3.
If Morant brought the gun into team facilities — which also includes the team plane — he is subject to NBA discipline under its Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The CBA states that players are prohibited from carrying firearms while “physically present at a facility or place owned, operated or used by a team, the NBA or any entity affiliated with the League, and whenever a player is traveling to any NBA-affiliated business, whether on behalf of the player’s team, the NBA or any entity affiliated with the League”
If a player violates the ruling in the CBA, he could face a fine and/or a suspension.
“The commissioner shall have power to suspend for a specified or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $50,000, or to cause such suspension and fine to be imposed on any person who, in his opinion, shall have been “guilty of prejudicial or harmful behavior. Association”, says the CBA.
While it’s unclear what punishment Morant could face, the most recent example of a gun-related incident came in the 2009/10 season, when Gilbert Arenas, a three-time All-Star, was suspended for the rest of the season — 50 games — for bringing unloaded weapons into his team’s locker room and deescalating the incident after he was penalized.
Arenas pleaded guilty, but avoided jail time and was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, was involved in a dispute with teammate Javaris Crittenton — who was also suspended the rest of the season for the incident — over money in a game poker.
The US government said at the time that Arenas brought at least one firearm into the Washington Wizards locker room.
Arenas would later return to the Wizards, while Crittenton was released by Washington following his suspension, playing two more years of professional basketball before being charged with murder in August 2011. In April 2015, Crittenton pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. weapon and aggravated assault with a firearm and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Meanwhile, the Grizzlies aren’t doing too well on the court. Their 112-103 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena in LA on Tuesday came two days after they lost in the same building to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Lakers forward Troy Brown Jr. is fouled by Desmond Bane of the Grizzlies as he attempts a layup.
Jaren Jackson Jr. led the way for the Grizzlies, finishing with 26 points, but it wasn’t enough as dominant Anthony Davis — who had 30 points and 22 rebounds — and 17 points apiece for Dennis Schröder, Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves led the surging Lakers to seventh win in 10 games as they try to make the playoffs.
However, the Grizzlies are third in the Western Conference with a 38-26 record.