Three days after a second video of Ja Morant showing a gun surfaced on social media, Adam Silver said he was “shocked” by the behavior of the Memphis Grizzlies guard.
The NBA commissioner discussed the situation in an interview Tuesday with ESPN that was part of the network’s coverage of the league’s draft lottery. Silver told Malika Andrews that he and Morant spoke “directly about the aftermath” after Morant first flashed a gun in a video that surfaced in March.
This incident compounded by others led to a furlough for Morant and ultimately an eight-game suspension without pay. Silver said based on a previous discussion with Morant, he believed the Grizzlies guard was taking the situation seriously. He also said he was “shocked” by the second gun video that surfaced on Saturday night.
“Frankly, most of our conversation was about the incredible seriousness of the first incident of brandishing a gun on social media. The consequences there – an eight-game suspension was pretty serious. And something that at least seemed to me to take incredibly seriously in this time. …
“Honestly, I was shocked when I saw this video over the weekend.”
Silver cited discussing ‘safety issues’ with Morant – that he could have hurt or killed someone – in addition to setting an example for ‘millions, if not tens of millions of children’ . He added that the league is investigating the new video, but “I’m guessing the worst.”
The NBA announced Sunday that Morant “is suspended from all activities pending League review..” The announcement landed a day after an Instagram Live video of Morant aired showing off a gun from the passenger seat of a car. The gun can be seen briefly in Morant’s left hand in the 13th second of the video below.
After Silver’s interview, Morant released his own written statementhis first public comment since Sunday’s video aired.
“I know I disappointed a lot of people who supported me,” the statement read. “It’s a journey and I recognize that there is still work to be done. My words may not mean much at the moment, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I commit to continuing to work on myself.