Ja Morant allegedly punched, flashed gun at teen during pickup game
Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Ja Morant is accused of punching a 17-year-old boy more than a dozen times and flashing a gun at him. In another incident, he allegedly threatened a mall security guard, according to police reports uncovered by Molly Hensley-Clancy of the Washington Post.
These incidents had been known for a while because the youth has filed a lawsuit against Morant, but the police reports provide more details.
The alleged incident with the teen is said to have occurred last summer at Morant’s home in Shelby County, Tenn., of which Memphis is a part. The victim who made the complaint — a high school player in the area — said Morant struck him 12 or 13 times during the game, and the police report said the youth had a large knot on his head and had been knocked to the ground, according to the Post.
The youth then alleges Morant went into his house and returned with a gun tucked into his waistband. Morant told police he did throw the first punch but did so in self-defense after the boy threw a basketball that hit him in the head and stepped toward him aggressively. The boy claims all he did was check the basketball back to Morant, who had fired it at him earlier.
The Shelby County District Attorney’s office did not press charges, telling the Post, “there was not enough evidence to proceed with a case.”
The Grizzlies have not commented on the incident.
In the case of the mall incident, Morant’s mother reportedly got into a verbal altercation with a staff member at a store in the mall, then called Morant who came with a group of friends and it led to a confrontation with mall security. Morant and his group were asked to leave, but they refused, and a member of Morant’s group allegedly shoved the security guard. Morant allegedly said he wanted to know what time the security guard got off work.
Morant’s attorney dismissed all the accusations as “unsustainable gossip,” noting that the teen had filed a lawsuit last September against Morant over the incident, and this was part of his effort.
Morant and his group were involved in a controversy this year with a member of the Pacers traveling party. Morant’s friend was banned from the arena over the incident.