Ja Morant says he “doesn’t have a problem with alcohol” and went to Florida. ‘to learn to manage stress’
Ja Morant says he ‘doesn’t have an alcohol problem’ and went to Florida ‘to learn how to manage stress’ after gun shaming, admitting ‘it’s an ongoing process’ ahead of anticipated NBA return
Ja Morant revealed that he is still working on managing himself better upon his return to practice with the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.
The former No. 2 overall pick described it as “an ongoing process” when speaking to reporters ahead of a possible return on Wednesday.
“Obviously I took that time to get better, to be in a better space mentally,” Morant said, after spending 11 days at a Florida counseling center this month.
‘It’s an ongoing process, an ongoing process for me. Obviously, I’ve been there for two weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely better. So that’s an ongoing process for me that I’ve still been continuing since I came out.
Morant spoke publicly for the first time since his eight-game suspension by the NBA ended.
Ja Morant returned to FedEx Forum Monday night after his highly publicized leave of absence.
Morant, 23, found himself in trouble after flashing a gun at a nightclub on social media in Denver following a Grizzlies win against the Nuggets.
He denied any suggestion that he has difficulty handling alcohol amid NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s determination that the 23-year-old was in an “intoxicated state” via the league statement.
“I don’t have an alcohol problem, never had an alcohol problem,” Morant said. ‘I was [to FL.] to get counseling to learn how to manage stress, deal with stress in a positive way instead of the ways I’ve tried to deal with it before that caused me to make mistakes.’
Morant has apologized once again for the incident in which he displayed a gun at a Denver strip club in the hours after a March 3 loss to the Nuggets.
“I’m really sorry about that,” Morant said after practice.
“So, you know, my job now is, like I said, to be more responsible, smarter, and not cause any of that anymore.”
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins signaled before the game Monday that his star man could return Wednesday night against Houston.
Morant himself was coy about the prospect of playing in the first of two games against the Rockets, describing his status as “up in the air.”
“Once I feel like I’m back in rhythm and in good condition to go back, I’ll get back out there,” he said.
The South Carolina native watched Memphis defeat Dallas on Monday night before joining Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving after the game.
Irving defended Morant after the game, theorizing he’ll come back better before blasting the media for his “judgment overload.”
Morant greeted Dallas Mavericks stars Luka Doncic (L) and Kyrie Irving after the game on Monday
The former No. 2 overall pick is now eligible to return from an NBA-imposed suspension.