In what has become a common nuisance in Memphis, Ja Morant’s dad became part of the game Pacers game last Sunday, talking enough ish to get a response from Andrew Nembhard. This fired up Ja and his courtside crew to continue puffing out their chest until James Johnson stood up. Eventually, Ja’s buddy Aaron Pack was tossed from the arena, but apparently not the loading dock.
According to a report by The Athletic, Pack and a few others approached the Pacers traveling party as they were boarding the bus, tossing threats engaging some of the Pacers party in more tough talk.
Following a game between the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies on Jan. 29 in Memphis, acquaintances of Grizzlies star Ja Morant aggressively confronted members of the Pacers traveling party near the team’s bus in the loading area of FedExForum, and later someone in a slow-moving SUV — which Morant was riding in — trained a red laser on them.
Can we stop here for a sec? First of all, how does a guy who gets tossed from the arena, just roll into the loading dock without security doing something?
No doubt, Ja has carte blanche to run things at the FedEx Forum and it appears his friends are taking full advantage.
The Pacers didn’t report the incident to the police but did share the info with the NBA. The league investigated the incident and confirmed the loading dock incident but couldn’t corroborate the laser portion of the story without video evidence. Because they couldn’t corroborate the latter, Ja tried to claim nothing happened. Nice. Here’s what the league actually said.
“While we substantiated that a postgame situation arose that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence gathered, we could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon,” Bass said. “Certain individuals involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during the game that night have been subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information becomes available related to the postgame situation, the league office will conduct a further review.”
The Grizzlies also seized on the league not corroborating the gun scope laser to try to move on from the incident. Taylor Jenkins had this to say before the Grizz game on Sunday night.
“That was addressed internally. We’re aware of the investigation of the NBA,” Jenkins said pregame. “They did a full investigation, we were fully compliant with it and I think they came out with a statement saying nothing was corroborated or found. That’s what I know and that’s all I’m going to comment on.”
Actually, the incident was confirmed but the gun scope laser wasn’t corroborated (nor found to be false). Someone in the Memphis organization needs to tell Ja, “No” once in awhile. Placating his every need doesn’t seem to be working too well.
If nothing else, maybe this will keep Ja’s dad and friends from continually inserting themselves into NBA games when they are not actually part of the game. Maybe this will also embolden the league to take a stronger stand against ‘celebrity’ interference in games. Drake? Shannon Sharpe? Papa Morant? The game is just fine without your involvement, thank you.