Ja Morant Suspended for 8 Games Without Pay after Incident at Strip Club

-Waaliy Bello

Temetrius Jamel “Ja” Morant is an American professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA who played college basketball for the Murray State Racers, from which he was drafted into the NBA in 2019. Since then,  Ja Morant has been one of the most entertaining players to watch in association with his beautiful playmaking abilities, his gravity-defying dunks, and his tantalizing and playful vibe. 

The 23-year-old is looked upon as a spectacular young talented point guard who is carrying an entire franchise on his back. He is one of few players so good that he has been called a future hall of fame by many colleagues and even legends in his early years, including the Phoenix Suns superstar forward, Kevin Durant calling him “the face of our league going forward”.

However, Ja is about to go the route that former NBA Superstars have taken, the path where they are on the cusp of their lifelong dreams coming true only along the way, they fumbled it all, and fell off for one horrible reason or another, and instead of rising to the level of greatness that was supposed to be inside of them, they ended up as warning stories instead. The young all-star guard has had a rather close relationship with violence in his past and it’s looking to become a problem for him in the future as we are potentially watching him throw his life away in front of our eyes and at this point with all that we have seen thus far, it doesn’t appear to be the dramatic statement it looks to be.

On the 4th of March this year, Ja, who was at a strip club in Denver, made an Instagram live video and appeared to have flashed a firearm for a couple of seconds. According to dancers at the strip club, Morant gave out at least $50k in tips and filled an entire room with one-dollar bills. Ja, who was expected to come to this year’s playoffs to step up and prove himself as one of the league’s finest, has been suspended 8 games by the NBA and has checked into a counselling program with no timetable for his return.

This however is only the most recent violent stint he’s had in his short career. In July 2021, the Memphis Grizzlies’ star point guard was involved in an incident at a strip club in Memphis, Tennessee. According to reports, Morant and a group of friends were at the strip club when a physical altercation broke out between Morant’s group and club staff. It was reported that Ja and his group spent a lot of money and were vexed when they didn’t get the services they expected. Following the incident, Ja apologized on social media by issuing a statement expressing his regret and apologies for his involvement but since then, the apology has been deleted from his Twitter page. In August 2019 as well, it was reported that Ja’s car was broken into and a bag containing a handgun and other items were stolen. The incident occurred in Memphis, Tennessee shortly after being drafted second overall by the Memphis Grizzlies. He issued a statement on social media and expressed the potential danger posed by this weapon. 

Another big loss of young talent, probably one of the biggest losses ever seen in the NBA is Gilbert Arenas. Gilbert Arenas, played for the Golden State Warriors, the Washington Wizards, the Orlando Magic, the Memphis Grizzlies, and the Shanghai Sharks. In his book, Caron Butler, a teammate of Gilbert Arenas in 2009, recalled a dispute between Arenas and another teammate Jarvis Crittenton when Arenas pocketed $1,100 Crittenton thought he owed him at a card game. Another teammate Antawn Jamison tried to retrain the two but they continued to argue and threats with firearms were issued. According to Butler, Gilbert arenas showed up to practice two days later with four guns. it was reported that Arenas had admitted to storing unloaded firearms in his locker at Capital One Arena and had surrendered them to team security. In doing so, Arenas not only violated NBA rules against bringing firearms into an arena but also violated D.C. ordinances as well. Jarvis Crittenton is now incarcerated at Calhoun State Prison, Morgan, Georgia where he was sentenced in 2015 after accepting a plea deal in a 2011 murder case.


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