After seeing Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Ja Morant in yet another Instagram Live video holding a firearm, NBA commissioner Adam Silver was “shocked.”
Silver spoke with ESPN’s Malika Andrews about the situation that comes just two months after Morant was suspended eight games for doing the same thing on his own Instagram account while at a nightclub. This time, Morant was caught on a friend’s Instagram account while they were in a car together.
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this weekend that video,” Silver said from the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday. “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.”
The Instagram account belonged to Morant’s friend, Davonte Pack, who was also involved in multiple off-the-court instances that the league has investigated. He was also banned from Grizzlies games for one year after getting involved in a post-game altercation with the Indiana Pacers on Jan. 29.
At that time, the Pacers claimed they saw a red laser pointed at them from an SUV where Morant was inside. However, the league’s investigation “could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon.”
Morant’s first incident with a handgun came while intoxicated at a club while in Denver to face the Nuggets.
Morant enrolled in a counseling facility in Florida. There, Morant was set to learn about how to better manage stress.
He later traveled to New York City to meet with Silver, which came 11 days after the incident in Denver.
After the meeting, Silver laid down his punishment: Eight games suspended without pay. Silver called Morant’s actions “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous.”
“Before we got to a subsequent potential to have done something wrong, we were very focused on the misconduct that was in front of us at the time,” Silver said on Tuesday, via ESPN. “Frankly, most of our conversation was about how incredibly serious the first incident was of waving a firearm on social media.
“Against, the consequences there — an eight-game suspension — was pretty serious and something that he, at least to me, seemed to take incredibly seriously in that time. And we spoke for a long time about not just the consequences that could have on his career, but the safety issues around it – [Morant] could’ve injured, maimed, killed himself, someone else with an act like that – and also the acknowledgment that he’s a star. 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.”
While the NBA investigates Morant’s incident, the Grizzlies have suspended him from all team activities pending the league’s review.