Ja Morant vows ‘smarter’ approach after returning to practice
Ja Morant said Tuesday he is learning to be a more responsible and smarter version of himself as he returned to practice with Memphis Grizzlies teammates for the first time since his suspension.
The Grizzlies superstar has not played since posting video of himself in a Colorado strip club brandishing a firearm on March 4.
The 23-year-old was subsequently hit with an eight-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the NBA but is now free to return to play, possibly as soon as Wednesday.
Morant told reporters that he was still undergoing therapy to help manage stress, describing treatment received in Florida as “an ongoing process.”
“Obviously, I’ve been there for two weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely better,” Morant said.
“So that’s an ongoing process for me that I’ve still been continuing since I’ve come out.”
While the NBA said Morant had been in an “intoxicated” state in the video posted online, the Grizzlies star said he does not have an alcohol problem.
“Never had an alcohol problem,” Morant said. “I went for counseling to learn how to manage stress, cope with stress in a positive way instead of ways I’ve tried to deal with it before that caused me to make mistakes.”
Morant added that he regretted the fact that the furor had overshadowed Memphis’ season in the past month.
“I’ve made mistakes in the past that cause a lot of negative attention — not only to me, but my family as well, my team, the organization. I’m completely sorry for that,” said Morant.
“My job now is to be more responsible, more smarter, and don’t cause any of that no more.”
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