Memphis Grizzles star Ja Morant has been putting on a self-sabotaging masterclass as of late, but his most recent drama really takes the cake.
Morant, 23, has previously been linked to a summertime incident where he allegedly menaced a teen boy following an altercation. As the accusation goes, he apparently put a gun in his waistband and then confronted the teen over a disagreement.
With the specter of that hanging over his head, Morant hasn’t bothered easing off the gun references – including doing a celebration during a recent Grizzlies game that seemed to mock all the hubbub.
Nah this Ja Morant celebration is crazypic.twitter.com/7sDeu6E3zY
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) March 2, 2023
Then this past weekend, Morant decided to escalate things to a whole new level.
In a now-deleted social media post, Morant seemed to showcase a firearm after going out clubbing following a Grizzlies loss.
Grizzlies star Ja Morant was allegedly seen showing off a gun on his IG Live this morning.pic.twitter.com/HlhvoWlnYy
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 4, 2023
After the clip went viral, Morant responded by deleting all his social media accounts and issued a public statement apologizing for his immaturity. Memphis subsequently suspended him for an undetermined period of time.
But that could be the least of Morant’s troubles.
As noted by some eagle-eyed NBA fans on Reddit, a lot of signs point to the gun incident occurring in Denver. And if that is what happened, then it would seem to suggest Morant brought his firearm on the team plane to transport it.
Per the terms of the CBA, that means he could be facing a very significant suspension that will leave him off the court for a long time.
Not only that, though – it also leaves him open to a lot of very serious legal ramifications. As noted by U.S. law, Morant bringing his gun on a plane could open him up to a decade-long prison stint.
“1413. CARRYING WEAPONS OR EXPLOSIVES ABOARD AIRCRAFT Section 46505(a) of Title 49 contains the definition of ‘loaded firearm,’” it reads.
“Section 46505(b) of Title 49 (formerly 49 U.S.C. App. § 1472(l)(1)) contains misdemeanor penalties for: (1) boarding, or attempting to board an aircraft in, or intended for operation in, air transportation or intrastate air transportation, by a person possessing, on or about his/her person or property, a concealed deadly or dangerous weapon which is, or would be, accessible to him/her in flight.
“(2) placing or attempting to place aboard any such aircraft a loaded firearm in the baggage or other property not accessible to passengers in flight; and (3) placing or attempting to place aboard any such aircraft any bomb or similar explosive or incendiary device. Section 46505(c) makes it a felony for anyone who willfully and without regard for the safety of human life commits an act prohibited by § 46505(b).
“Section 46505(d) provides that the section does not apply to any officer or employee of the Federal government who is authorized or required in his/her official capacity to carry arms.”
Violation brings up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Obviously all odds are against Morant getting the max penalty in a situation like this, but the fact that this is what’s out there really speaks to the seriousness of the situation.
It’s also quite telling that NBA veterans have shown zero sympathy for Morant, aside from Paul Pierce. His counterparts and peers really seem to feel like he is dropping the ball with his immaturity.
It genuinely feels like all of Morant’s success on the court, and conquests off it like taking Drake’s girl, have inflated his ego in a massive way.
Morant has all the requisite skills to be the face of the league. He just needs to get out of his own way.
Joe Burrow and his girl are having quite the offseason. https://t.co/gNAyEhtHDb
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 6, 2023
And the Grizzlies need him to smarten up – quick.
What sort of legal ramifications will Morant end up having to deal with? Will this incident wake him up in regards to how much he is self-sabotaging himself right now?
One way or another, a clearer image of Morant’s decision-making and future will emerge over the next few months.