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Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will be away from the team for at least four more games, the team said on Wednesday, shortly after police announced that he will not face charges in Colorado related to the livestreamed video in which he appeared to display a gun in a strip club.
“Ja Morant will continue to remain away from the team for at least the next four games,” the team said with no further comment, according to ABC News.
That means Morant will miss games against Golden State on Thursday, home against Dallas on Saturday, at Dallas on Monday and at Miami on March 15. The earliest he could play is March 17 at San Antonio, and there’s no guarantee of that.
Meanwhile, the Glendale Police Department said it looked into the video, which was a stream that Morant showed on his Instagram channel while he seemed to be holding a firearm, and found no proof that a crime was committed. Glendale is an enclave surrounded by the city of Denver.
“In this case, it should be noted that on the night in question the GPD did not receive any calls for service at the nightclub regarding a weapon of any type,” police said. “Subsequently, no disturbances were reported, and no citizens or patrons of the club came forward to make a complaint.
“The investigation also concluded that no one was threatened or menaced with the firearm and in fact no firearm was ever located.”
The NBA has said it is also looking into the matter, and has not announced any sanctions — such as a suspension — against Morant.
ABC News reports police said the investigation confirmed that “the incident” — Morant was not named in the release, which only made reference to “a prominent NBA player” — occurred at an establishment called Shotgun Willies in Glendale.
The two-time All-Star streamed the video in the early hours of Saturday, after the Grizzlies played in Denver on Friday night.
The Grizzlies said Morant would be away from the team for at least two games — those were Sunday and Tuesday — and Morant later said that he decided “to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
Ja Morant is supported by NBA brotherhood and Nike as Powerade deletes popular ad
Memphis legend and basketball coach Penny Hardaway voiced his support for Grizzlies star Ja Morant on Tuesday. Hardaway, who spent 14 seasons in the NBA and made four All-Star Game appearances, said, “We’re all praying for Ja. I’m here for Ja.”
“I’m really close to the family. Not as close to Ja, but we’re just praying for him, man. He’s human. He’s young. We just gotta continue to pray for him and support him,” said Hardaway.
Depending on what the NBA discovers in its own investigation into Morant’s activities, they could ultimately decide to levy a hefty fine, or hand down a lengthy suspension.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NBA and NBPA states explicitly that a player is prohibited from carrying a firearm while traveling on any league-related business.
On March 4, Morant released a statement apologizing for his actions and noted he would be taking time away from basketball.
Though there has been no official word from POWERADE regarding its current multi-year deal with Morant, per Morgan Jon Fox, the commercial featuring Morant has apparently been removed from its Instagram page (via ClutchPoints).
As Nike’s newest major endorsee, the athletic sportswear giant affirmed, “We appreciate Ja’s accountability and that he is taking the time to get the help he needs. We support his prioritization of his well-being,” Nike said Saturday (March 4), ESPN reported.
While he remains one of the league’s brightest stars, it is currently unknown when Morant will return to shine doing what he does best.