NBA regular season

Embattled Grizzlies star Ja Morant enters counseling program, out indefinitely


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Embattled Grizzlies star Ja Morant enters counseling program, out indefinitely

GETTING HELP. Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

High-flying NBA star Ja Morant takes a leave of absence from the Memphis Grizzlies for counseling after brandishing a gun inside a club on Instagram Live

Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant is getting counseling through a program in Florida, ESPN reported Monday night (Tuesday, March 14, Manila time).

Morant stated that he was looking to get help with “better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being,” leading him to take a leave of absence from the team, according to the report.

Morant, 23, has missed Memphis’ last five games, including the Grizzlies’ 104-88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. He still does not have a timetable for a return, but Memphis announced that Morant would not come back ahead of the team’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.

The trip to Florida comes after a number of instances where Morant’s behavior was troubling, most notably his actions in a March 4 Instagram live video at a Denver nightclub.

Morant was seen brandishing a gun following the Grizzlies’ 113-97 loss to the Nuggets, and the NBA is currently investigating the incident.

Following the live video, Morant deactivated his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Officials within the Memphis organization have also said publicly that Morant will be held responsible for his questionable decision-making and behavior.

“I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down,” Morant said in a statement. “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.”

A two-time All-Star, Morant has averaged 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds across 53 games this season. He signed a five-year, $231 million contract extension this past summer which will begin in the 2023-24 season. –

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