Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies drives the ball up court during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 5 of the Western Conference playoffs at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee on April 26, 2023.
Justin Ford | Getty Images
The National Basketball Association suspended Ja Morant 25 games after the Memphis Grizzlies star brandished a gun at live video for the second timethe league said Friday.
Morant’s suspension will take effect at the start of the upcoming season. The NBA said Morant will have to meet unspecified “conditions” before returning to the court and will not be able to participate in team or league activities, except for preseason games.
Morant, 23 years old NBA All-Stars, first brandished a weapon live from a nightclub in March, prompting an eight-game suspension. Then last month, he showed off a firearm in a car with friends during a second video stream.
“Ja Morant’s decision to use a firearm again on social media is alarming and troubling given his similar behavior in March, for which he was already suspended eight games,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement Friday.
Silver added that “Basketball needs to take a step back at this time. Before returning to the game, he will need to formulate and implement a program with the league that directly addresses the circumstances that led him to repeat this destructive behavior.”
In a statement on ESPN on Friday, Morant apologized and promised to “get better.” He said he will spend the offseason working on his mental health.
“I hope that in time you will give me an opportunity to prove to you that I am a better man than I have been showing you,” he said.
Morant is supported Nike. In a statement Friday, the athletic apparel giant said: “We are pleased that Ja is taking responsibility and prioritizing his well-being. We will continue to support him on and off the court.”
— CNBC’s Jessica Golden contributed to this report