Ja Morant found therapy, self-reflection ‘very eye-opening’


Ja Morant’s return from a 25-game suspension is imminent — and he says he’s learned somethings along the way.

The Grizzlies guard is eligible to begin his fifth NBA season on Dec. 19 as his ban for flashing a gun in an Instagram Live stream, his second such suspension related to publicly showing a firearm, is set to come to an end next week.

Morant has since been on the comeback trail, which included therapy and self-reflection, which he discussed in his first formal public address since his suspension.

“I feel like I learned some stuff about myself during that process,” the two-time All-Star told reporters Friday. “Very eye-opening. Kinda gave me a new look on life with how I go about my days, how I carry myself.

“Just being grateful and thankful that I’m still here in the position that I’m in.”

Ja Morant is set to return on Tuesday after a 25-game suspension.
Ja Morant is set to return on Tuesday after a 25-game suspension. Getty Images

Morant also took ownership for Memphis’ 6-17 start this season.

“I take full responsibility for that, even though I’m not out on the floor,” he said. Decisions I made didn’t allow me to be out there to go to battle with my team.”

Morant also met with Adam Silver this week, and the NBA commissioner said the 24-year-old “complied with everything” asked of him while on suspension.

“Yes, I have been monitoring the situation closely, and him. In fact, we intend to have a check-in this week directly, Ja and I,” Silver said at a press conference prior to the NBA In-Season Tournament title game over the weekend.

“But folks in the league office, together with Ja and his team and the Players Association, have been in regular contact, essentially weekly. There have been those checkpoints. We’ve, together, laid out a program for him over the last several weeks, and to the best of my knowledge, he’s complied with everything he’s been asked to do.

Ja Morant has made two All-Star games in four years.
Ja Morant has made two All-Star games in four years. Getty Images

“As I said, we’ll talk at least once this week before he comes back, and we will review the program and make sure the conditions are in place for him to be successful going forward.”

Morant told reporters Friday that the meeting between the two was positive.

“He was just checking on me, seeing how I was doing, how the process was going,” he said, per The Athletic.

Morant averaged 26.2 points, 8.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per contest in 61 appearances last season, helping lead the Grizzlies back into the playoffs, where Memphis lost in six games in the first round to the Lakers.

The Grizzlies, who went 51-31 last season, are 6.5 games out of a potential play-in spot, but will have 57 games remaining after their likely re-addition of Morant to the lineup.

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