Ja Morant has managed to overshadow the latter half of the NBA playoffs. On May 14, the Memphis Grizzlies superstar was suspended from team activities after a video of Morant flashing a gun on Instagram Live went viral. It was the second instance of such a video this year. Previously, Morant served an eight-game suspension for a similar video in March. Morant's vague apology a few days later did little to stem the criticism over the incident.
However, the saga has quickly spiraled out of control. After overwhelming condemnation for the incident, a cryptic Instagram post for Morant sparked a police welfare check over concerns for the player's well-being. Most recently, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that Morant's punishment would not be revealed until after the conclusion of the NBA Finals. However, Stephen A. Smith is now voicing his concern for Morant.
Smith Gets Real About Morant
Smith made his latest comments during a call-in to The Rich Eisen Show. “I can tell you that people within the NBA community are not just concerned about Ja Morant playing basketball. They’re concerned about whether or not he’s going to be alive in 5 years because of the environments that he finds himself around and the situations he finds himself confronted by. It’s a serious matter and it’s something that I think the NBA and everybody that knows anything about the kind of things that are going on with him find themselves concerned about,” Smith told Eisen.
Elsewhere, Smith has also spoken about how severely Morant should be punished for the video. The expectation is that it will be a heavy punishment, especially after Silver's comments. “There are some people who are saying Ja Morant should be suspended for the year. Let me be very, very clear I will be the first to raise holy hell with all that I have if he is suspended for the year. I understand that he has impugned the integrity of the league, but it shouldn't be a year. It shouldn't even be half the season. If he ends up getting a 25-game suspension, I think that's fair,” Smith argued on The Stephen A. Smith Show.