AceShowbiz - Ja Morant is getting closer to returning to the field. The two-time All-Star is nearing a return to the Memphis Grizzlies, only a couple weeks after his career was put on pause for flashing a gun at a nightclub while on Instagram Live.
The 23-year-old basketball player, who is eligible to return from his eight-game NBA suspension, spoke with his teammates and participated in a scrimmage on Monday, March 20, Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters.
Jenkins said he was hopeful Morant could return on Wednesday. "Morant was actually eligible to return Monday, but it looks like he arrived too late for Memphis to make it happen. The Grizzlies are scheduled to face the Houston Rockets at home Wednesday," said the coach.
Grizzlies initially sidelined Morant on March 4, announcing he would miss at least two games after the gun incident. The NBA later gave Morant an eight-game suspension, counting five games he had missed already as time served.
The suspension came after Morant was seen in an Instagram Live video displaying a gun at a Colorado nightclub earlier this month. After the NBA launched an investigation, the Glendale (Co.) Police announced that "there was not enough available evidence to charge anyone with a crime."
Morant then entered a counseling program in Florida for a few days. Following his release from the program, the NBA announced that the basketballer would be suspended for eight games without pay. "Ja's conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, obtained by the Associated Press. "It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him."
More recently, Morant detailed his treatment in a recent interview with ESPN's Jalen Rose. "Me, personally, I feel mentally good that I haven't been in many years. I'm in a space where I'm very comfortable. I was constantly talking to therapists. I've been doing Reiki treatment. I've been doing anxiety breathing, different stuff to help me manage that and release all that stuff from my body," he shared.
Morant also insisted that the gun wasn't his. "The gun wasn't mine," the Memphis Grizzlies player declared. He continued, "It's not who I am. I don't condone any type of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions." He went on adding, "I made a bad mistake and I can see the image I painted over myself with my recent mistakes."
"In the future, I will show everybody who Ja really is, what I'm about and change this narrative," Morant promised. He also said that he realized he needed help when he made the video and his daughter inspired him to open up about his issues with professionals.