Grizzlies' Ja Morant enters counseling program after incidents, still no timetable for return
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant entered a counseling program in Florida on Monday after a string of incidents, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim McMahon.
Morant has been away from the team for the past 10 days, and there is still no timetable for his return.
It’s unclear what type of counseling program specifically Morant entered, or how long he'll be there.
Morant has been involved in several notable and troubling incidents this season. Most notably, Morant went live on Instagram and flashed what appeared to be a gun at a Colorado nightclub just hours after the team played the Denver Nuggets earlier this month. Morant hasn’t played since. Colorado police opted not to charge Morant with a crime, though the NBA is investigating.
A recent report from the Washington Post also detailed allegations Morant assaulted a teenager and threatened him with a gun during a pickup game at his house last summer. He also allegedly threatened the head of security at a Memphis mall in a separate incident.
Earlier this season, Morant’s entourage allegedly threatened Indiana Pacers staff members after a contentious game in Memphis. Staff members claimed someone riding in Morant’s slow-moving SUV aimed a red laser at them, and they believed the laser was attached to a gun.
Morant apologized after his incident in the Colorado nightclub, and the team announced later that day he would step away for at least two games which was then extended to four additional games. It’s been unclear how long he will be gone in total or what that process will look like for his return.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down," Morant said in his initial apology. “I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins hasn’t provided many details on that front, either. He said last week there are “definitely steps that are going to need to be met” before Morant can return, but he did not elaborate on what those steps were.
Jenkins had said Morant would miss the team's next four games, which opened the door for a possible Friday return. He was asked about that on Monday night ahead of their game against the Dallas Mavericks, but didn't provide much of an answer.
“There are a lot of internal dialogues going on and obviously there’s still things going on at the league level that we’re in communication with,” Jenkins said, via ESPN's Tim MacMahon. “Ja’s fully engaged in this process and ready for whatever comes next after these two games.”