Yes Morant has been suspended for eight games for conduct detrimental to the competition

Adrian WojnarowskiSenior NBA insiderRead for 4 minutes

How the NBA decided on an eight-game suspension for Ja Morant

Ramona Shelburne explains the NBA’s decision to suspend Ja Morant for eight games without pay for conduct detrimental to the league.

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant has been suspended for eight games without pay for conduct detrimental to the league, the NBA announced Wednesday.

The suspension covers the six games he will miss, including Wednesday in Miami. Morant is eligible to play against Dallas on Monday, the same day he can rejoin the Grizzlies in the team environment.

Morant met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in New York on Wednesday about his handling of a firearm at a suburban Denver nightclub earlier this month.

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

The League said, based on information obtained during its investigation, that it had not concluded that the weapon in question belonged to Morant, was brought to the nightclub by him or was shown by him after a short period of time. The investigation also failed to show that Morant possessed the weapon while traveling with the team or at an NBA facility, and Colorado authorities found no sufficient cause to charge Morant with a crime.

Morant has sought help for what he described in a statement as a need “to get help and work on learning better methods of coping with stress and my overall well-being,” and that has taken him out of Memphis on leave from the team, sources said. Morant entered a counseling program shortly after the announcement.

The franchise had announced that 23-year-old Morant would be out at least until Wednesday’s game against the Miami Heat. The Grizzlies said they would continue to prioritize Morant’s desire and need to get help following a series of worrying incidents that culminated when he brandished a gun at a suburban Denver nightclub on March 4 on his Instagram Live feed .

The NBA opened an investigation into the matter, and meeting with Silver on Wednesday was the latest step in that process.

A two-time All-Star, Morant is a former Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player for one of the league’s emerging franchises. Before the Grizzlies’ game against the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters, “Ja is fully engaged in this process and ready for what comes after the next two games.”

Morant began his Instagram Live session on March 4 at 5:19 a.m. ET, hours after the Grizzlies’ 113-97 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday, March 3. Morant could be seen holding up a gun with his left hand. Morant deactivated his Instagram and Twitter accounts later that day.

In a statement at the time, Morant said he “assumed full responsibility for my actions last night”.

“I am sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire organization for letting you down,” the statement read. “I’m going to make some time to get help and work on learning better methods of coping with stress and my overall well-being.”

Nike, which has a signature footwear line with Morant, backed the Grizzlies star in a statement shortly afterwards.

“We appreciate Ja’s responsibility and that he takes the time to get the help he needs,” the statement said. “We support his prioritization of his well-being.”

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

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