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Ja Morant takes accountability for 2nd gun video; NBA commissioner 'shocked'

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (L) was suspended indefinitely after a second video surfaced showing him waving a gun on social media. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (L) was suspended indefinitely after a second video surfaced showing him waving a gun on social media. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 17 (UPI) -- Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant said he takes "full accountability" for his actions after he was seen brandishing a gun for the second time this year in a social media video, leading to a second suspension.

Morant made the comment in a statement he issued Tuesday night. The two-time All-Star and 2021-22 All-NBA selection was seen in the video Saturday night. The Grizzlies announced Sunday that Morant was indefinitely suspended. The NBA is investigating.

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"I know I've disappointed a lot of people who have supported me," Morant said in a statement. "This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do.

"My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I'm committed to continuing to work on myself."

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the situation Tuesday night during ESPN's broadcast of the 2023 NBA Draft lottery. He said he was "shocked" when he saw the video of Morant holding what he assumed to be a weapon.

"Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend that video," Silver said. "Now, we're in the process of investigating it, and we'll figure out exactly what happened to the best we can. The video is a bit grainy and all that, but I'm assuming the worst."

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Morant was suspended for eight games in March after he was seen in Instagram Live footage holding a gun while inside a Denver nightclub. He said after that incident that he was talking to therapists and learning how to better manage stress.

Silver called Morant's first suspension "pretty serious" and said the Grizzlies star seemed to take those consequences "incredibly seriously" at the time.

"He has an incredibly huge following, and [we discussed] my concern -- and I thought he shared with me -- that millions, if not tens of millions, of kids globally would have seen him do something that was celebrating in a way that act of using a firearm in that fashion," Silver said of Morant.

"So I at least was left with the sense that he was taking this incredibly serious."

Morant, 23, averaged 26.2 points and career-highs in assists (8.1) and rebounds (5.1) per game this season for the Grizzlies. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft signed a five-year, $193 million contract extension in July.

The pact could have increased to $231 million in total value if Morant was an All-NBA selection in 2022-23. He did not earn that distinction.

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