Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant (L) was suspended for eight games for conduct detrimental to the league. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
March 15 (UPI) -- The NBA suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, without pay, for eight games in response to a video he released that showed him holding a gun inside a nightclub, the league announced Wednesday.
"Ja's conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a news release. "It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.
"He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior. Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court."
Morant, who posted the video March 4 on Instagram and later apologized, last played March 3. He missed the Grizzlies' last five games as a result of the incident. The Glendale (Colo.,) Police Department announced March 8 that Morant would not be charged with a crime in relation to the social media video.
The league also conducted an investigation. Morant met with Silver, NBA executive vice president Joe Dumars and NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio and others Wednesday at the league offices in New York.
The league said its investigation "did not conclude that the gun at issue belonged to Morant, was brought by him into the nightclub or was displayed by him beyond a brief period."
The league said its probe also did not find that Morant possessed the gun when traveling with he team or while he was inside any NBA facility, which would be a violation of league policy.
Morant, 23, is averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and 6 rebounds per game this season. He averaged a career-high 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds last season. The two-time All-Star and No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft was a second-team All-NBA selection in 2021-22.
The Grizzlies won their last three games. They will face the Miami Heat at 7:30 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Miami-Dade Arena in Miami. Morant will be eligible to return from his retroactive suspension when the Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks on Monday in Memphis.