ESPN recently chronicled Ja Morant’s spiral into suspension in a new report citing NBA sources and local Memphis business owners.
As the 2023-2024 NBA season officially gets underway, Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is starting with a 25-game suspension. An appeal of the suspension was denied despite the Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association calling it “excessive and inappropriate.”
If Morant’s suspension wasn’t enough bad news for Memphis fans, ESPN has published a new report detailing his 18-month “downfall” from promising star to suspended athlete.
The report tells the story through the lens of local business owners and anonymous NBA sources.
According to the report, many people witnessed Ja transform right before their eyes from respectful to a local headache.
“A staff member, security, always wanting it his way. It’s just so much. I can’t say all of it. It just went bad, bro — like the way he carried himself,” a business owner told ESPN.
“First, he told me he was coming with his best friend. The next thing, he started coming with an entourage. The next thing, he’s got a platinum grill in his mouth. The next thing, he’s into it with parking lot security because they won’t let him park somewhere.”
Another local Memphian alleged that he witnessed Morant and his crew threatening the life of another customer after they disrespected the man’s wife.
One of the standout lines from the story encapsulates the love Memphis poured into the NBA player and the support he had from the city.
“He’s the biggest star we’ve had since Elvis,” said Geoff Calkins, a longtime Memphis columnist per ESPN.
The report also claims Ja’s Instagram live heading to the 2022 All-Star Game in Cleveland on Feb. 18, 2022, was the beginning of his downfall.
“He went to that first All-Star Gamae and then the alligators got him,” one team source said recalling a livsetream where Morant held a bottle of Clase Azul Tequila like a machine gun.
“Tee has been a major driving force in all of this,” one team source said. “He never made the NBA, but this was his chance to live like he’s an NBA superstar. That’s been a problem from the beginning.”
Since his last gun incident, Morant has laid low, and this forthcoming season seems like it’s his last chance at redemption. Hopefully, when he returns from suspension, he can do what he does best and silence the noise so he can become the face of the league.
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