Ja Morant addressed his latest gun controversy for the first time late Tuesday night.
Over the weekend, Ja Morant was once again spotted on an Instagram Live with a gun in his hand, mere months after picking up what became an 8-game suspension for doing the same thing in the middle of the season — ultimately costing him a spot on the All-NBA teams and nearly $40 million on his new contract extension. He was, again, suspended indefinitely by the team as they investigated the matter alongside the league.
After the first incident, Morant apologized and did interviews about how he was in the wrong and was learning his lesson, which meant whatever he said after this latest video was going to be met with plenty of eyerolls. He didn’t help his cause by waiting to release a statement until Tuesday night as the fourth quarter of Game 1 between the Lakers and Nuggets was going on (and after the Draft Lottery earlier in the evening). Morant was at least aware enough to know that his “words may not mean much right now,” committing once again to working on himself.
Statement from Ja Morant:
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey & I recognize there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself"
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) May 17, 2023
Morant is correct in noting that very few people are going to take much from his statement, and it’s now on him to show that he’s actually trying to make the changes that clearly didn’t stick after the first time we went through this situation. Earlier in the evening, Adam Silver told ESPN he was “shocked” when he saw the video, with the league still looking to determine if it was what it appeared to be. Morant’s statement certainly seems to confirm that, and with reporting he could face a lengthy suspension for a second incident, he will likely have plenty of time for reflection over the summer and the start of next season.