Grizzlies’ Ja Morant points to off-court issues — Need ‘more discipline’

The Memphis Grizzlies were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs with a 125-85 loss against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6. All-Star point guard Ja Morant took accountability for the team’s disappointing season, acknowledging that his off-court issues negatively impacted the team. Morant served an eight-game suspension for displaying a handgun during an Instagram live session from a strip club.

The NBA also investigated allegations by the Indiana Pacers stemming from a postgame confrontation with Morant’s associates after the Grizzlies’ home win on Jan. 29. Members of the Pacers’ traveling party reported that a red laser, believed to be from a gun, was pointed at them from an SUV ridden by Morant. The NBA released a statement confirming that there was a confrontation but that the league “could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon.” Morant mentioned his pattern of making poor decisions away from the game and has to be better in that area.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said the early playoff exit as a “pivotal” moment for the Grizzlies, mainly Morant, power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. and shooting guard Desmond Bane. Jenkins referred to the exit as a test of the team’s culture, resilience, discipline, and preparation. The coach also mentioned that there is a journey from the start of the season to the end, and it’s not supposed to be easy, any of it. The Grizzlies can either take it lightly or take it for granted or take a real hard look at themselves in the mirror.

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