US basketball

Ja Morant accused of punching teen, threatening guard


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Ja Morant accused of punching teen, threatening guard

YOUNG GUN. Grizzlies guard Ja Morant reacts after scoring a basket.

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Ja Morant allegedly punched a 17-year-old during a pickup game, but the Grizzlies superstar’s camp says the ‘unsubstantiated rumors and gossip’ were proffered in the hopes of ‘financial gain’

Memphis Grizzles superstar Ja Morant was accused of punching a teen and threatening a mall security guard in two separate incidents last summer, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, March 1.

Charges were not brought in either case, according to Shelby County, Tennessee police records obtained by the Post.

However, TMZ reports that a lawsuit was filed against Morant by the teen in Shelby County in September.

Both incidents came roughly one month after members of Morant’s entourage allegedly threatened and harassed Indiana Pacers staffers with a laser.

In the first incident, the Post reported that a 17-year-old claimed to have been punched at least 12 times by Morant during a pickup game at Morant’s house in Eads, Tennessee, on July 26. The punches left a “large knot” that was visible to officers.

It began when the two got into a verbal altercation that became heated, resulting in the teen hitting Morant in the face with the basketball, something the teen claimed was accidental.

The teen told police that Morant emerged from his house with his hand on a gun visible on his waistband.

Morant told police that he punched the teen but that the teen was the aggressor, per the Post report. Morant filed his own police report weeks later, per the Post.

A Shelby County district attorney’s spokesman told the Post that there was “not enough evidence” to bring charges on either Morant, who is 23 years old, or the teen.

Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, called the allegations “unsubstantiated rumors and gossip” proffered in the hopes of “financial gain.”

“Any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated. This includes the NBA investigation last month, in which they found no evidence,” Tanner told the Post.

“The incident with the teenage boy was purely self-defense.”

In the second incident, a mall security guard claimed to have been pushed in the head by members of Morant’s entourage in the parking lot after asking them to leave, per the Post report.

That incident began when Morant’s mother got into a dispute with a store employee inside the mall, per the report. She called Morant, who then showed up with as many as nine friends.

Morant said, “Let me find out what time he gets off,” per the Post, citing the police report. The guard filed the report, saying he felt threatened. –

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