Ja Morant hilariously explains how his dad shows him tough love
Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is one of the best young players in the NBA, and just about anyone who follows basketball could tell you that. His own father will never admit it, however.
Morant has said in the past that his father, Tee, was his first “hater.” What he means by that is that his dad is always pushing him to be better and never wants to inflate his son’s ego. In an entertaining appearance on the “Pardon My Take” podcast this week, Morant shed some light on his relationship with his old man.
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“I think when I won Rookie of the Year his message after was, ‘Good job, you still suck,'” Morant recalled. “There isn’t too much I can do to make him say something positive.”
Morant did say that Tee told him how proud he was of Ja after the former Murray State star’s first two NBA seasons. Ja says Tee told him “you know I don’t do this, but I’m proud of you” and then started laughing.
Tee was also a star basketball player and played with Ray Allen in high school. Despite that, Ja says his father refuses to play him 1-on-1 now.
“He won’t play me no more. I beat him last time when we had this kids vs. adults game,” Morant recalled. “I hit the game-winner and he won’t play me no more … Once I got a little taller and more athletic he would never play me 1-on-1.”
Tee gave up his own basketball career when Morant’s mother, Jamie, became pregnant with Ja. After Morant was drafted second overall in 2019, he became emotional while talking about the work his father has put in with him (video here). The two are obviously extremely close.