Ja Morant’s Future seems dim


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Jason Chen

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant’s recent behavior has landed him at least a four-day suspension. Morant touted a gun on his Instagram story, news coming two months after he allegedly punched a 17-year-old during a pickup basketball game.

As one of the youngest superstars, 23, Morant’s accolades consist of two NBA all-star appearances, an All-NBA second team selection and the 2022 NBA Most Improved Player Award. However, if Morant continues his poor behavior, this success can implode.

After his infamous comment “I’m fine in the west,” Morant now sits suspended while his team slips in the standings, losing its second seed spot to the Sacramento Kings.

Needless to say, Morant isn’t presenting himself well for the Grizzlies organization. Morant’s antics off the court dents the legacy created by the “Grit and Grind” Grizzlies.

The Grit and Grind Grizzlies consisted of tenacious players such as Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Tony Allen. The team was known for its pressured dedication to defense. As the eighth seed in the 2010-11 playoffs, they shocked the league by defeating the Western Conference number one seed, San Antonio Spurs.

The contrast between the two eras of Grizzlies basketball is glaring. The Grit and Grind team was respected and played with heart, while the Morant led-team is hated and plays with a boastful nature. The new era Grizzlies is known for their trash talk and poor sportsmanship which has left basketball fans with a bad taste in their mouths.

Pundits diagnose this issue as a sign of immaturity, but the real cause of this problem is the quick rise into stardom that Morant experienced. Mature players know how to behave themselves when they achieve success and are aware that it can fade very quickly.

Ja Morant’s situation could be compared to that of point guard Derrick Rose. Rose didn’t have any off the court issues, but his injuries led him to perform poorly. He was loved at first, racking in awards; but as soon as does great stats and awards fell, the media pounced, and Rose was phased out.

Morant may be winning now but consistency in the NBA is hard to achieve.

Perhaps Morant hasn’t realized that stars don’t shine as bright when clouds cover them.