March 17, 2023 | SPORTS | By Olivia Xerras
What could possibly get an NBA star in trouble nowadays? Two words: Instagram Live.
Ja Morant, Memphis Grizzlies star point guard, had quite the night after losing to the Denver Nuggets on Friday, March 3. Unfortunately for Morant, there appears to be a ramp up of more losses in his future that do not involve a basketball.
Morant appeared in an Instagram Live video on his personal account early Saturday morning, in which he intentionally flashes what appeared to be an allegedly unregistered firearm while at a nightclub in Glendale, a small enclave of Denver.
There is, at present, no timeline for Morant to return to the team. Originally the Grizzlies reported that Morant would miss two regular season games. However, Morant has deactivated his account, and issued a statement that said, “I’m going to take time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
There seems to be no definitive timetable on his return to basketball. As of March 13, Morant has not been charged with any crimes, but is in Florida and has been ordered to stay away from his team for the next 10 days.
What has been another question mark surrounding Morant is his pending Nike shoe deal, which has been in the works for months. Although Nike released a statement Saturday saying the company will support their sponsorship with Morant throughout this investigation conducted by Denver police, Nike may be at a major profit and reputation loss depending on the outcome.
Knowing these facts, why should you care?
For one, a story like this shows how although it may appear to some that professional athletes, especially male professionals, can get away with a lot, the NBA still knows everything. An individual worth around $80 million who is associated with a multi-billion dollar industry like the NBA has a reputation to uphold.
Insiders working for the NBA have a job description to know what the tight circle of assets, the players, are up to. This wakeup call asserts that not even the best of the best or an all-star athlete has power over the organization.
With the incident occurring just days after Denver’s East High School incident where a student was shot on school property, Morant’s actions could not have come at a worse moment. Although, as made clear by recent reports, this could be a good learning opportunity for this 23-year-old NBA player, but did this “growth” period for Morant arrive too late?
Optimistically speaking there is still hope Morant can make a personal and moral comeback.
Pessimistically speaking, Morant’s career could be over indefinitely.
As a Nuggets fan, Morant’s actions show that losing in Denver burns in more ways than one.