Ja Morant recently entered a counseling program after he flashed a gun in a video and was ordered to be away from his Memphis Grizzlies.
Morant said in a recent statement he was taking “some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
He also got into a physical altercation with a teenager over the summer at his home during a pickup basketball game in which he also showed off a firearm — he claims he acted in self-defense.
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Nonetheless, Morant’s behavior has been troubling, and a fellow NBA player has ideas of where it’s stemming from.
Patrick Beverley, now with the Chicago Bulls, says Morant’s actions are due to parenting and the type of music he listens to.
“Lost his mind. Parenting, parenting,” Beverley told Barstool Sports earlier this week before pivoting to Morant’s surroundings.
“Fame mixed with success mixed with a ton of money mixed with a ton of freedom in the wrong hands, it’s not a good poster,” Beverley said.
Beverley then hopped into the pop culture aspect:
“I think music has a lot to do with this now. Especially with this culture. Everyone holding a gun in the video is okay. You know, bling on your teeth is okay. Pants half down your ass, that’s okay. So, that’s okay now. Back in the day, there was a motherf—er on the beach in a silk shirt talking about some ‘yeah baby, let’s party like we’re in the 80s.’ Everybody had on silk shirts, and everybody was dressed the same. It’s just a product of what we listen to.
“The culture now is ‘shoot them up, bang bang, bang bang shoot them up, bend you over, I got this amount money, I’m on private jets,’ That’s what the younger generation is. Sadly to say, it should be based on our music, but it is mostly based on what we listen to, and that’s how it is. Eminem came out, and Eminem was rapping, ‘palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy,’ he had on a hoodie. Everybody back then had on a hoodie and big jeans. If Eminem would’ve came out like, ‘yeah I carry pipes, I carry straps, I got 12 guns,’ every White kid in America would’ve had a f—ing gun on them back then.”
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Beverley did say he would still draft Morant, who’s averaging over 27 points per game this season.
In February, the Indiana Pacers claimed that after an altercation between associates of Morant and the Pacers, a red laser was pointed at the team from an SUV that was carrying Morant, which the Pacers believed was a gun.
The NBA investigated the incident and found that no “individual threatened others with a weapon.”
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Memphis is 41-26, good for second place in the Western Conference.