NBA

Ja Morant Instagram posts: How Grizzlies star’s videos sent him down path toward suspension

Ja Morant has nearly 10 million followers on Instagram, allowing him to connect with fans around the world. However, his activity on the platform has also gotten him into hot water.

Even as he has emerged as an All-Star over the past two seasons, Morant’s behavior has sent off alarm bells within the Grizzlies organization.

ESPN’s Baxter Holmes and Tim MacMahon recently detailed the timeline of trouble, noting that there were concerns about Morant before the NBA handed down a lengthy suspension ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

MORE: When does the NBA season start? Key dates to know for 2023-24

Ja Morant Instagram posts and videos

Private jet to 2022 All-Star Game

Morant took friends and family members on a private jet to Cleveland for All-Star weekend last year, and he streamed part of the trip on Instagram Live.

During the stream, Morant could be seen drinking straight from a bottle of tequila multiple times. He later leaned into the moment, telling reporters, “We was lit.”

But that wasn’t just a fun, silly experience. Multiple sources told Holmes and MacMahon that “some early warning signs became habitual.”

First gun video in Colorado

After the Grizzlies lost to the Nuggets in an early March matchup, Morant went to a nightclub in Glendale, Colo. While streaming on Instagram Live, Morant was seen holding a gun, setting off a firestorm on social media.

(Note: Explicit language in the clip below.)

Morant was not charged with a crime, but he did receive an eight-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the league.” He issued an apology, saying that he took “full responsibility for his actions.” In his statement, Morant announced that he would “take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”

He also deactivated his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Second gun video in car

Only two months later, Morant once again appeared to be holding a gun in an Instagram Live video. This time, he was sitting in the passenger seat of a car alongside his close friend, Davonte Pack. The video was deleted, but the damage had already been done.

Morant was suspended from all team activities, and he released a statement addressing the video.

“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me. This is a journey and I recognize there is more work to do,” Morant said. “My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.”

In June, the NBA announced that it had suspended Morant for 25 games.

The following has been released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/dzDSb4uCk3

— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) June 16, 2023

‘Goodbye’ note, social media break

In late May, Morant shared multiple photos of his family members and a “goodbye” note on his Instagram Stories. He later deleted all of his Instagram posts.

Local police officers did a welfare check on Morant at his Tennessee home, saying that he was “fine.” Morant told the officers that he was “taking a break from social media.”

Recent Instagram videos

Morant has clearly been looking to change his image with his latest social media posts. As Holmes and MacMahon pointed out, Jnie Williams, Morant’s close friend and photographer/videographer, has shared videos prominently featuring words like “gratitude” and “accountability.”

 

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