Fans around the league are expressing concern for Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant after the troubled PG posted cryptic messages to family on Instagram amid another round of gun video backlash.
In stories posted to IG, Morant expressed love for his mother, dad and daughter before leaving off with a photo of himself captioned “bye.”
Hope everything is okay with Ja Morant 🙏— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 24, 2023
(h/t @donnymonarch ) pic.twitter.com/iNjrKPWWaT
The NBA world was praying for Ja Wednesday morning.
“Never know what a person is going through,” a user said. “God bless him.”
“Everyone needs to stop speculating about what this means because you don’t know. Just hoping Ja is all good,” tweeted Bryson Wright.
Everyone needs to stop speculating about what this means because you don’t know. Just hoping Ja is all good🙏🏾 https://t.co/aIXQYyCTuS— Bryson (@BrysonWright3) May 24, 2023
“I hope Ja is ok,” a Nets fan replied.
“Cmon 12 get right gang,” another tweeted. “Prayers to you killer.”
“He’s got a lot of bashers probably but what he’s experiencing rn is something we don’t wanna experience.”
“We love you Ja. Stay up [king],” another user commented.
Morant has since deleted the posts.
Police in Tennessee conducted a welfare check on the Memphis Grizzlies star following his cryptic messages, with officials telling ESPN that he’s just “taking a break from social media.”
Morant, 23, was suspended from all team activities following a video of him holding a gun that circulated on social media on May 13.
The video appeared during an Instagram Live session on the account of Morant’s friend Davonte Pack, with the All-Star flashing a handgun in a car while rapping along with a song. The video was deleted.
Morant left the Grizzlies and entered a counseling program in March after a video showed him holding a gun while intoxicated at a Denver club when the Grizzlies were in town to play the Nuggets. He was eventually suspended eight games after meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who called Morant’s conduct “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous.”
At the time of the suspension, Morant told ESPN that he realizes “what I have to lose” and said he would try to be “more responsible, more smarter and staying away from all the bad decisions.”
Morant has been involved in several off-court incidents over the past year. He is being sued by a high school prospect after a fight during a pickup game in Morant’s backyard, where Morant and Pack are alleged to have punched the boy in the head. The teenager told police that Morant entered his house after the fight and came back outside with a gun in his waistband.
Morant’s five-year, $194 million max contract is set to begin this coming season. It could have escalated to a supermax if he had made All-NBA this season; he was not voted onto that team, which cost him about $39 million in future earnings. He has endorsement deals with Nike and Powerade, though the sports drink company pulled an ad featuring Morant after the March video and the ad currently is not running.
Morant averaged 26.2 points this season and helped Memphis secure the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.