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#pounditFriday, April 19, 2024

Stephen A. Smith makes crazy claim about Ja Morant

Stephen A Smith reports from the sideline

Dec 18, 2019; Philadelphia, PA, USA; ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith broadcasts before a game between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Miami Heat at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant is almost certainly facing a lengthy suspension after he flashed a gun on social media twice in three months, but Stephen A. Smith says there are people around the NBA who believe disciplinary action could be the least of the Memphis Grizzlies star’s problems.

Smith discussed the Morant situation during a recent appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show.” The longtime ESPN analyst said he has spoken with people within the NBA community who are concerned that Morant might not be alive in five years if the 23-year-old continues down his current path.

“I can tell you this: I’m from the streets of New York City. And a lot of players I know are from the streets, period. And I can tell you that people within the NBA community are not just concerned about Ja Morant playing basketball. They’re concerned about whether or not he’s going to be alive in five years because of the environments that he finds himself around,” Smith said, as transcribed by Matt Fitzgerald of Barstool Sports. “And the situations he finds himself confronted by. It’s a serious matter, and it’s something that I think that the NBA and everybody that knows anything about the kind of things that are going on with him, find themselves concerned about.”

Smith said he is “not at liberty to speak” about everything going on with Morant but that there are serious concerns about the company the star point guard keeps and the places he goes.

While it sounds a bit dramatic to say people are concerned Morant may not be alive in five years, a troubling theme has emerged. NBA commissioner Adam Silver also made some ominous comments about Morant last week and said the league has “uncovered a fair amount of additional information” about the former No. 2 overall pick.

Morant received an eight-game suspension when he flashed a gun on Instagram following a loss back in March. Morant then did essentially the same thing less than three months later. He has had several other off-court issues as well.

Smith said he anticipates Morant being suspended for around 25 games this time, but a recent report hinted that the ban could be much longer.

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