ESPN released an excerpt from Ja Morant’s first interview since the Memphis Grizzlies suspended him for flashing a gun on Instagram Live this month.
“It’s not who I am. I don’t condone any type of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions,” Morant told Jalen Rose. “I made a bad mistake. I can see that the image I painted of myself with my recent mistakes, but in the future, I’ma show everybody who Ja really is, what I’m about, and change this narrative.”
Morant said the gun he brandished didn’t belong to him.
Shortly after the Grizzlies suspended him for “at least the next two games,” Ja released a statement in which he apologized for his actions, and vowed to use his time away from the game of basketball to “work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
Morant provided some insight into what he has been working on, which includes speaking with therapists, and going through Reiki treatment. The full interview airs tonight on SportsCenter.
The NBA announced Wednesday that Morant will be suspended for eight games without pay.
“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement, obtained by the Associated Press. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.”
Morant is eligible to return on Monday since the previous five games he missed will count toward his suspension. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the two-time All-Star will likely take additional time to get into playing shape.