Jae Morant’s 8-Game Suspension Shows The NBA Doesn’t Want Him To Fail, But It Needs Him Too

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One day soon, Ja Morant will walk out of a tunnel with his teammates as he takes the floor of an NBA arena for the first time in his new reality.

He will address the media, answering repeated questions about his activities and habits that led to his eight-game suspension and treatment in Florida — probably statements that will be rehearsed and very un-liked.

It will be the first day of an NBA grown-up, the glow of innocence gone. The devil-may-care attitude won’t make the days as easy as dancing with the devil that is NBA mortality, and he’ll probably be better for it as opposed to toughening it out.

Especially with the public, crossing the line of danger is one thing. Most NBA stars are buttoned-up and family-friendly, so Morant was taking a different route. But until now, the general view was that he was harmless, energetic and reflective of the culture the NBA now embraces — for better or worse.

That doubt is now temporarily dispelled.

The NBA doesn’t want Morant to fail. The league doesn’t benefit from throwing the at him for what “could have been” – even the justice system doesn’t go that far. Besides, he knows how important he is to the future and his present.

The Gilbert Arenas comparison is certainly too much to chew on, even if it’s so bad it’s enough to rot one’s teeth. But The league concluded that he did not bring a weapon onto team premises. – A great illustration of the Arenas incident from about 15 years ago. That cost Arenas 50 games from then-commissioner David Stern, who was free to suspend him however he saw fit.

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From a 2006 incident outside an Indianapolis strip club, sources told Yahoo Sports that Stephen Jackson is probably closer to precedent for Morant. Jackson fired a gun into the air in an attempt to break up a fight and was subsequently by a car – the league determined that his role at the start of the 2007–08 season was worth a five-game suspension, months after the legal case . Run your course

Raymond Felton, then of the Knicks, pleaded guilty to a felony charge in 2014 before moving to Dallas. His suspension was for four games.

Unlike those instances, no charges were brought against Morant, but the pattern of behavior was moving toward a dangerous place. Thus, Commissioner Adam Silver’s statement was as clear as he has been in years.

“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” Silver said. “It also has serious consequences given his massive following and influence, especially among young fans who look up to him. He has expressed serious remorse and remorse for his behavior. Ja also made it clear to me that that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the wider NBA community extends far beyond his play on the court.

Morant, at age 23, is noted as a mentor to young players in his class, most notably Detroit rookie point guard Jaden Ivey. Ive’s mother, Niall, was an assistant coach with the Grizzlies before becoming the head coach for the Notre Dame women’s team, and that’s where the relationship began.

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And if it seems like Morant is too young to mentor, think of a high school senior taking a freshman under his wing — peer-to-peer.

Morant will be different from every old man who comes across him now, whether it is a current player, a former player or someone else.

They will tell him that the world has come before him, even with this first public strike, and that he can rebound from it. They’ll also tell him that information that has been put out to the public makes him an even greater target for provocation, especially in Memphis, unfortunately.

He will not be placed in a cocoon, even though there are many people who would probably love to do so. In the under-25 category, there are only so many bankable American-born stars, and if you don’t think that matters, look no further than MLB’s declining popularity among youth, as many of its stars are not in the States.

The league will probably wait before throwing him back on the marquee. America, on the other hand, loves nothing more than a story of redemption and humility—especially one whose persona is that of defiance.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant received an eight-game suspension Wednesday for “conduct detrimental to the league” after brandishing a gun on an Instagram Live video. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

Who knows if Morant will make a formal apology to those who have tried to keep him from watching on the sidelines, those who have confronted him about his behavior — those in the Grizzlies organization, and some close to him, sources told Yahoo. told sports. His behavior may have been aimless, but it was noticed as time passed and he was probably too far away to be heard.

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That is, until he gunned it down on Instagram Live.

It wasn’t some investigation that uncovered this particular example – he put it out there for the world to see. In an interview with ESPN’s Jalen Rose, he said it wasn’t his gun – thus making the decision even more complicated in the moment.

Either he was too careless, reckless or unimpressed with things going on around him to care, but this self-made road seemed necessary.

A trip to Florida for “consultation” appeared more necessary, even if the wording was intentionally vague. Even if she hasn’t earned that level of privacy the benefit of the doubt, one wonders if a week or two of counseling will fix whatever is wrong with her.

If it’s a decision to make, being thrust into the adult world of the NBA certainly adds up to work – or reveal a lack thereof.

If it’s something bigger, something more dangerous, then the work has to be doubly painstaking and even more transparent. The slightest mistake will expose a crowd that Morant doesn’t want to hear and, more importantly, a segment the NBA would prefer to stay away from.

The NBA doesn’t want Morant to fail. Ja is also better not to let Ja fail.