Paul George took some time this week to weigh in on the ongoing drama surrounding Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant.
Morant, 23, made headlines in recent days for checking into a Florida counseling program amid continuous off-the-court woes.
The most recent issue that pushed Morant over the edge was him seemingly brandishing a gun on social media following a night of partying. That led to his accounts getting deleted and the Grizzlies telling him to stay home for the foreseeable future.
This week George appeared on his podcast and offered some words of wisdom to Morant.
— Podcast P with Paul George (@PodcastPShow) March 14, 2023
“One thing I don’t want him to be is not himself,” George said.
“We got to respect who he is as a person, so I don’t want him to now shape to be someone that he’s not just because the microscope is on him. He’s gonna have to cut ties with some people,” the Los Angeles Clippers star continued.
“I think as a young kid that’s maturing, growing up, and becoming a man, you’ll realize some people are good for you and some people aren’t. And that’s a part of life. No love lost. It’s part of maturation as a man like you wanna grow.
“The plan is to always grow, and so I think he’s going through that phase and understanding that like, ‘I can’t have the influence that I have around because I’m someone that’s putting the influence on the next generation.”
That said, George wanted to make sure that Morant knew he was supported no matter what.
“But it’s love here kid,” he added. “We stand behind you, on your future.”
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/qxWVbokyVO
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 15, 2023
Memphis has presented a very clear series of conditions that Morant needs to meet before he is permitted to return to the team.
He seems pretty far away from meeting them at the moment.
Will Morant eventually take George’s advice and get his affairs in order so that he can return to the basketball court? Time will tell.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.