Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has reportedly entered a counseling program in Florida last week and there is currently no timetable on his return to the court.
According to ESPN on Monday night, the 23-year-old Morant begun the program recently after he was suspended by the team for showing a gun during a livestream on his Instagram while partying in a strip club, following a game against the Denver Nuggets.
Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins said on Monday night, before his team played Dallas Mavericks: ‘There are a lot of internal dialogues going on and obviously there’s still things going on at the league level that we’re in communication with.
‘Ja’s fully engaged in this process and ready for whatever comes next.’
Memphis – who won 104-88 against Dallas – announced on March 4 that Morant would miss ‘at least the next two games’ and then provided a subsequent update on March 8 saying he would be away for ‘at least the next four games.’
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has reportedly entered a counseling program in Florida
Morant appeared to hold up a gun in an Instagram Live video in the early hours of last Saturday
Leaked images from the 23-year-old’s night at the strip club showed that he spent $50k that evening, while enjoying himself in a manner that would be expected in such an establishment.
Despite the images being linked the owner of the club known as ‘Shotgun Willie’s’ was very complimentary of Morant’s behavior throughout the night, despite the criticism and ridicule he has been subjected to.
‘This kid, real young, was exceptionally respectful, and sweet and he did not drink ,’ Dunafon said. ‘We’ve had [Denver] Nuggets and Broncos … come in and pitch quarters at the girls, be disrespectful and nasty. He’s marvelous.’
Morant and his image have come under fire recently due to multiple reports of off the court transgressions that have turned him into the NBA’s latest villain.
Before the incident at the strip club Morant was under fire after details emerged from a report over a lawsuit that stated Morant and an associated punched a teenager ’12-13 times’ after playing basketball at Morant’s home.
News that Morant went into a house and emerged with a gun in his waistband after the beating led to him receiving harsh criticism, despite the 17-year-old allegedly throwing and striking Morant’s with a basketball from close range which provoked the fight.
The teen also reportedly told Morant that he would ‘light his house up like fireworks,’ which caused Morant to fear for the safety of both himself and his family before emerging from his house with a firearm.
Morant is known for being close with his family, and his father and young daughter are often seen courtside during his games. He also recently purchased a multi -million-dollar home for his parents and younger sister.
Grizzlies guard Ja Morant blew $50,000 and was pictured receiving a lap dance at strip club known as Shotgun Willie’s
Morant’s sister, Teniya (right), reportedly got into a verbal argument with another student
The altercation reportedly occurred at Houston High School in Tennessee on September 22
The most recent news of Morant’s off the court altercations spawned from a police investigation last September over an alleged assault, after Morant, his mother, and associates confronted a high school student who called Morant’s younger sister a b**** at a high school basketball game.
Morant and associates were also reported to have had a run in with a security guard at a local mall that left the security guard fearing for his safety after a member of the group mentioned waiting for the guard when he go off work.
Furthermore, Morant was subjected to an NBA investigation after the Indiana Pacers accused Morant and his travel party of shining a laser that was attached to a gun into the team’s bus after a post-game confrontation.
Following the investigation there was no proof found to the claims that anyone in the SUV Morant was allegedly riding in had any form of weapon, or the Morant was in fact in the vehicle in question.
In light of Morant’s current villain arc he recently saw the first of his many sponsorship deals turn on him as Coca-Cola decide to pull all of their advertisements featuring the Grizzlies young star despite inking the deal with him only 10 days prior to the decision.
Grizzlies coach Jenkins recently revealed that the organization also had previously spoken to Morant about his behavior before the viral incident leading to his time away from the team.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters that the organization talked to Morant about his off-the-court behavior before he posted a video of himself with a gun in a strip club
Morant released a statement apologizing to his family, teammates and fans for his actions
Veteran center Steven Adams also led a players only meeting about being more disciplined when it came to going out late when the team was on the road the night before the strip club incident.
Despite the absence of the face of their franchise the Grizzles have only fallen one place from second to third in the NBA Western Conference standings.
Memphis are tied with the Sacramento Kings as both teams have records of 40-26, but the Kings currently hold the tiebreaker.
The Grizzlies have played their way into becoming one of the favorites in the west this season, and if Morant is back with the team in time for the postseason Memphis will have the chance for a deep playoff run.
Morant was set to headline Powerade’s 2023 campaign, but his ads have been all removed