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Ja Morant to ‘be away from’ Memphis Grizzlies for at least two games; NBA investigating gun video

Hours after Ja Morant appeared to flash a gun at a nightclub during an Instagram Live video, the point guard for the Memphis Grizzlies finds himself the subject of an NBA investigation.

The Grizzlies also announced their star player will not be with the team for at least the next two games in response to the video streamed early Saturday morning.

The NBA franchise posted a one-sentence statement on social media after Morant was seen on the video — which began at 5:19 a.m. ET, per ESPN — with a gun following the Grizzlies’ 113-97 loss to the Nuggets in Denver.

“The Memphis Grizzlies announced today that Ja Morant will be away from the team for at least the next two games.”

The Grizzlies’ decision to sit Morant comes hours after the NBA announced it was probing the situation.

“We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement.

Morant’s Twitter and Instagram accounts were disabled Saturday after the team’s statement and then he released a statement of his own saying he takes “full responsibility” and also offered an apology for his actions.

“I take full responsibility for my actions last night,” Morant said. “I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down.

“I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”

Morant, 23, the second overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft and a two-time All-Star, will miss a pair of games in Los Angeles (Sunday’s game against the Clippers and Tuesday’s game against the Lakers).

The Grizzlies (38-24), with the dynamic Morant leading the way (27.1 ppg and 8.2 apg), are in second place in the Western Conference.

The decision to keep Morant away from the team comes just days after a Washington Post report revealed that police had investigated a pair of incidents involving the All-Star dating back to last summer.

The former Murray State star was questioned by cops over allegations he threatened a mall cop and a separate incident in which he was accused of assaulting a teenager during a pickup game at Morant’s Memphis home last July.

Morant was not charged in either case, per The Washington Post.

The teen said he was repeatedly punched in the head after the pickup game turned heated, according to what he told detectives based on the police interviews reviewed by The Post. He also accused Morant of later coming out of his house with his hand on a gun that was visible in the waistband of his pants.

Morant told cops the teen had thrown the ball at his head and that he was simply acting in self-defense.

The incident with the teen was first reported by TMZ in January. Morant faces a civil lawsuit over the incident.

Jim Tanner, Morant’s agent, told the newspaper that the allegations were “unsubstantiated rumors and gossip” and accused the alleged victim of being “motivated to tear Ja down.”

The Associated Press also described another incident involving Morant that led to a league investigation:

Morant’s actions were investigated by the league after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis that he said led to a friend of his being banned from home games there for a year.

That incident was following a game against the Indiana Pacers; citing unnamed sources, The Indianapolis Star and USA Today reported that multiple members of the Pacers saw a red dot pointed at them, and The Athletic reported that a Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun.

The NBA confirmed that unnamed individuals were banned from the arena but said its investigation found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon.

– With News Wire Services

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Source: Berkshire mont

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