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Memphis Grizzlies superstar guard Ja Morant was accused of repeatedly punching a 17 year old in the head and threatening him with a gun last summer, according to Memphis police records recently acquired by the Washington Post.
The alleged incident reportedly came four days after another incident in which Morant allegedly threatened the head of security at a Memphis mall.
Both allegations are emerging nearly one month after it was reported Morant was indirectly involved in threatening Indiana Pacers staffers with a red laser.
The 17-year-old reportedly told police Morant, who turned 23 last August, punched him multiple times during a pickup basketball game at Morant’s home.
The teenager alleged that he was checking the ball back to Morant, who had thrown the ball hard at him first, and the ball slipped through Morant’s fingers.
He claimed Morant and a friend then hit him so hard it left a “large knot” on the side of his head.
Sports Illustrated reports Morant told police in an interview that he was acting in self-defense after the boy threw a basketball at his head, though he acknowledged that “I swung first.”
Morant reportedly claimed the boy shouted “I’m gonna come back and light this place up like fireworks.”
The teenager reportedly told Shelby County Sheriff’s Office detectives that after the fight, Morant went into his house and re-emerged with his hand on a gun visible in the waistband of his pants.
Morant filed his own police report weeks later, saying the boy threatened his family.
Yahoo! Sports says local prosecutors reportedly reviewed the case and declined to file charges, with a Shelby County District Attorney spokesperson saying the office had “decided that there was not enough evidence to proceed with a case.”
Replacing Kyrie Irving as the next heir to the Nike throne, Morant’s recent on and off-court scuffles have slowly built a dangerous narrative about himself and his associates. While his teammates and coach have stood behind Morant through it all, Nike has yet to comment.
Ja Morant mall incident reportedly started at a Finish Line
In the mall incident, Morant was alleged to have threatened the head of security during an altercation in the parking lot, with a member of Morant’s group allegedly shoving him in the head. No arrests were made.
The incident allegedly occurred after Morant’s mother got into a dispute with an employee at a Finish Line store, then called Morant, who arrived to the scene with as many as nine other people.
The group allegedly refused to leave when confronted by the head of security, leading to the shove. As the group left, the guard reportedly alleged Morant said, “Let me find out what time he gets off.”
Ja Morant’s agent says ‘financial gain’ is the accuser’s motive
In a statement, Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, characterized the new allegations as “unsubstantiated rumors and gossip are being put out by people motivated to tear Ja down and tarnish his reputation for their own financial gain.”
Tanner responded to the allegations with a statement claiming the teenager and his mother are smearing Morant for their own financial gain, as the boy’s family filed a lawsuit against the player earlier this year.
“Any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated. This includes the NBA investigation last month, in which they found no evidence,” Tanner said.
According to his agent, the incident with the teenage boy “was purely self-defense. Again, after this was fully investigated by law enforcement, they came to the decision not to charge Ja with any crime.”
The Grizzlies reportedly declined comment, while an NBA spokesperson said the league “takes allegations of inappropriate conduct very seriously.”