I’m not here to psychoanalyze Ja Morant, ask him if he has any gang affiliations, or questioning the influence his parents play in his life. I will say, though, that if Morant was trying to emulate Michael Vick in the mid-2000s by having an illicit business on the side, we probably would have heard about it by now. It’s clear from this IG Live video of his own account of him partying shirtless and holding a gun that he completely ignored the fact that he was hot last week.
Morant made headlines for all the wrong reasons
Morant was as hot as Memphis at 3 p.m. in July. At the beginning of February Athleticism reported that a red laser shone of a vehicle containing Morant and was trained on the Indiana Pacersbus after a game. A Washington Post report published on March 1 alleges that he showed a gun to a 17-year-old who he and a friend had previously beaten.
The NBA investigated the incident with the laser and concluded there was no evidence that a weapon was aimed at the Pacers’ bus. Morant told police he punched the boy in self-defense, and his agent said in a statement Wednesday that Morant didn’t have a gun during the event in question. Morant will be far from the Memphis Grizzlies for at least two games.
Even though Morant is completely blameless in both incidents, the fact that he posted a video of himself holding a gun in public three days after the Washington Post report was both idiotic and irresponsible. Both traits are commonly found in people under 25 who walk around like they’re bulletproof.
People are born into this world completely ignorant. At one point, we were all helpless and literally had to be spoon-fed. Then we get a little older. We scraped our knees on concrete and started asking questions. Then, around 10 or 11, we really believe we know it all and that’s when life gets really interesting. A person who can’t remember anything that happened to them 10 years ago now believes they have all the answers to life’s questions.
As annoying as this trait is in young people, it is natural for them to possess it. The world is a scary place. Bravado helps a person through a day in which they are largely helpless. Standing firm in their ignorance is, of course, how many of their mistakes are made. These errors can lead to detention, suspension and sometimes even arrest. Even if they are arrested, there is a whole juvenile justice system because children who commit crimes should not be treated as adults.
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It’s time for Ja to grow up fast
In the labor market, people of Morant’s age are generally entry-level employees. People in their early twenties, who may have been outstanding in college, but still have a lot to learn about being a professional. They need space not just to learn from their mistakes, but to be humbled by their ignorant bravado and embrace every little step it takes to become a good worker.
Morant is already far from an entry-level position. He was the No. 2 overall selection in the NBA Draft at age 20. He won Rookie of the Year and has since been filling in the highlights of his spectacular game.
But playing in the NBA is not like other professions. Aside from training, matches and travel, the players’ time is largely theirs. A more typical life for a 23-year-old employee would be crashing into a tiny room after a 10-hour shift on a Tuesday. Morant flies charter planes all over the country and stays in four-star hotels. If there’s no game on the day he arrives in town, there’s probably no training that day either, which leaves him on his own.
In this fast-paced life with big paychecks, many young athletes have made terrible decisions. Morant isn’t the first person to live this lifestyle of making bad choices. However, what he needs to learn is that while spilled milk can be cleaned up, bloodstains don’t come out so easily.
He lives in a metropolitan area where local hip-hop star Young Dolph was murdered while buying cookies at a local store in 2021. Takeoff – one of three members of the now disbanded group Migos – was shot in Houston at a private party. in 2022. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that gun death rates are at their highest in 28 years in America – and that young black men are the most victimized. Additionally, gun death rates were most concentrated in southern states.
So for Ja Morant, 23, living in Tennessee – young man, your very existence puts you at real risk of a gun ending your life. Showing you to the world that you are celebrating with one after all the reports that have come your way since the beginning of the year will do the opposite of protecting you.
Morant is a young man who, like all young people, still has a lot to learn, but one lesson he had better learn during his suspension is that some mistakes are incorrigible.