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#pounditTuesday, January 18, 2022

Ja Morant

Ja Morant not sure family will travel back to Utah after racist heckling

Ja Morant

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant admitted that he isn’t sure whether his family will return to Utah for Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, even though the Jazz banned the fans responsible for making racist comments toward them.

On Friday, Morant said he was pleased with the organization’s decision to ban three fans that made offensive remarks to Morant’s parents during Game 2 in Utah. He added, however, that he was unsure if his parents would travel back to attend Game 5 in light of what happened.

Morant’s family said they had no issues with other Jazz fans, but the conduct of these three was definitely an issue. Not only that, but it was alleged that family members of a second Memphis player received similar treatment.

This is one of several issues with fans the NBA has dealt with this week. The 76ers banned a fan who dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook. The New York Knicks also had to take action against a fan who spat on Trae Young.

Dillon Brooks’ family also heckled by Jazz fans?

Dillon Brooks

Ja Morant’s family members weren’t the only ones who got heckled by Utah Jazz fans in Game 2 of their playoff series in Salt Lake City.

Morant’s father Tee joined “Jason and John” on 92.9 FM in Memphis on Friday. Tee told the hosts that Jazz fans heckled Dillon Brooks’ family, calling them “half-breeds.”

The Jazz banned three fans for their behavior towards Morant’s family. On the same day this week, the NBA banned fans in three different cities. In addition to Utah, there were fan issues in New York with a fan spitting on Trae Young. And in Philadelphia, a fan was banned for dumping popcorn on Russell Westbrook.

Jazz ban fans who made racist, vulgar comments to Ja Morant’s family

Ja Morant

The Utah Jazz announced on Thursday that they had banned three fans for improper conduct during Game 2 of the team’s playoff series with the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. Now we have more information regarding the allegations that led to the bans.

Ja Morant’s father Tee told ESPN that one fan made a sexually explicit remark to his wife. He says another fan told him “I’ll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy.” A third fan was ejected for yelling “shut the f— up, b—-,” to Morant’s mother. The article does not say what, if anything, Morant’s family said. However, Tee told ESPN that they had friendly banter with many of the other fans sitting around them. He also said that those examples went well beyond heckling.

The Jazz issued the following statement.

“The Utah Jazz have zero tolerance for offensive or disruptive behavior. An incident occurred last night involving a verbal altercation during Game 2. Arena security staff intervened, and the investigation resulted in the removal and banning of three Jazz fans indefinitely,” the team said.

“We apologize to all who were impacted by this unfortunate incident and condemn unacceptable fan behavior. The Utah Jazz are committed to ensuring a safe and respectful environment.”

Morant was pleased with the ban and said on Twitter “my family should be able cheer for me & my teammates without getting inappropriate s— said to them” (edited by LBS for profanity).

Both Ja and his father seemed to feel like things went well overall with the other fans, with the exception of the three who were banned.

These fans, who were banned indefinitely, join a few others who were banned in other venues. The 76ers banned a fan who dumped popcorn on Russell Westbrook. The Knicks also banned a fan who spit on Trae Young.

Here is how Ja Morant reacted on Twitter to huge Grizzlies win

Ja Morant

Ja Morant broke out with a huge game for the Memphis Grizzlies in a 117-112 overtime win over the Golden State Warriors.

Morant, who only averaged 1.2 threes made per game during the regular season, sunk five threes in the play-in win. He was 14/29 overall for a team-high 35 points. He made a pair of floaters in the final minute of overtime to help seal the win.

So how did Morant react on Twitter? Let’s just say he took a moment to enjoy himself.

Morant also appreciated the shoutouts he received from fellow NBA players.

Morant also sent this tweet:

If you don’t understand what that means, here is your explanation.

Ja Morant sends classy tweet about Steph Curry

Ja Morant

Ja Morant seems to have learned a bit of a lesson after being roasted by Stephen Curry on Sunday.

Morant and Curry have engaged in a back-and-forth before, which led to a lot of hype around Sunday’s matchup between the two. The playoff implications only added further spice to the game. Curry proceeded to roast Morant, dropping 46 points and nine three-pointers in Golden State’s win.

After the game, Morant didn’t hide the fact that he thinks Curry should be MVP.

It’s honestly a pretty classy gesture from Morant, especially after he got torched during Sunday’s game. The internet wasn’t shy about letting Morant have it, so he definitely could have just laid low for a while.

Morant and the Grizzlies will now need to win two play-in games to make the full playoff field. He can’t really afford to dwell on what happened Sunday.

Ja Morant gets meme treatment after being dominated by Steph Curry

Steph Curry Ja Morant

Ja Morant and Stephen Curry faced each other on Sunday for the first time, and the result made it seem like Curry didn’t forget the way the Memphis Grizzlies star talked smack to him on social media last year.

In a game that decided which team earned the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference, Curry gave Morant a first-hand look at why he is a two-time NBA MVP. The Golden State Warriors star dropped 46 points — including nine three-pointers — in his team’s 113-101 win. Curry, who claimed his second career scoring NBA title with the performance, had Morant looking completely deflated.

Morant finished with just 16 points on 7-of-21 shooting. The Warriors dared him to shoot three-pointers all game, and he responded by hitting just 1-of-6 from long range. Morant was ruthlessly trolled with memes after the game.

Curry may have been motivated by some friendly trash talk that was exchanged a little over a year ago. Morant was unhappy that Andre Iguodala, one of Curry’s former teammates, was trying to force his way out of Memphis. Curry defended Iguodala against criticism from Morant and other Grizzlies players by tweeting a photo that showed Iguodala holding the Larry O’Brien Trophy. Morant responded with a photo of Kevin Durant holding the NBA Finals MVP trophy, which was his way of saying Durant carried the Warriors.

You can see the entire exchange here.

Morant said at the time that he was a huge Curry fan, and he has since praised Curry on social media numerous times. Still, Curry is such a fierce competitor that you can bet he didn’t forget it.

By securing the No. 8 seed, the Warriors now have two paths to reach the playoffs via the play-in tournament — win and get in, or lose and then beat the winner of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 game to get in. The Grizzlies are locked into the No. 9 seed, which means they need two wins to earn a playoff spot and would be eliminated with a loss.

Ja Morant calls referee a clown on Twitter after ejection

Ja Morant

Ja Morant called out the referees on Twitter after being ejected from his Memphis Grizzlies’ 118-104 loss to the New York Knicks on Monday night.

The Grizzlies had issues with the referees and saw both Morant and Taylor Jenkins ejected in an 18-second span.

Jenkins, the head coach, was upset about a lack of a foul call. He was hit with two techs and ejected. 18 seconds later, Dillon Brooks got called for a tech. Morant complained about the call and got two techs himself, resulting in an ejection.

Yes, that was five techs in 18 seconds for the Grizzlies.

Morant was upset after the game and seemed to suggest one of the referees sent threats. He also sent a clown emoji.

The refs explained after the game why Morant and Jenkins were ejected:

The Grizzlies have a lot to be frustrated about beyond the technical fouls and ejections.

They have now lost four of five and are .500 at 32-32. They have slid down to the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference as well.

Ja Morant reacts to not making NBA All-Star team

Ja Morant

Ja Morant the kind of reaction to not making the NBA All-Star team that you love to see.

When the All-Star Game reserves were originally announced, Morant tweeted his disappointment to not make the cut.

Then on Friday, Mike Conley was named as the injury replacement for Devin Booker. After seeing Conley get the nod over him, Morant tweeted that he recognized he has more work to do.

That’s a great attitude. Morant isn’t blaming anyone for overlooking him or arguing he deserves the spot more than Conley. He’s saying he needs it’s on him to impress all those voting even more.

The young guard and his Memphis Grizzlies will be better off because of that approach. Morant has been known to take negatives and turn them into positives. He’s doing it again here.

Ja Morant taken off in wheelchair after rolling left ankle

Ja Morant wheelchair

Ja Morant was taken away in a wheelchair after rolling his left ankle during Monday night’s game at the Brooklyn Nets.

Morant jumped to contest a shot by Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot near the free throw line. He landed on Luwawu-Cabarrot’s foot and rolled his ankle.

Morant was down in pain after the injury and seated in a wheelchair.

The Grizzlies later said that Morant would miss the rest of the game with a sprained ankle.

Morant, who was last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, had seven points and three assists prior to suffering the injury. He averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 assists per game last season.

Morant is a franchise cornerstone for the 0-2 Grizzlies.

Ja Morant smacks down trash talk from college basketball players

Ja Morant

Ja Morant put the smack down on a couple of college players after they talked some trash to him on Monday night.

Morant’s alma mater, the Murray State Racers, faced Austin Peay on Monday. The Governors won the game 74-70, which apparently led some current Austin Peay players to think they had bragging rights on Morant.

A few players talked trash to Morant via Twitter. Forward Mike Peake tried to rub in the win. So Morant responded by pointing out that Peake only had two points in the game and didn’t really have a right to talk his trash.

Another player, Alec Woodard, also tweeted Morant. The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year defended himself for responding to them, saying they took the first shot at him and he was only replying.

Morant is Murray State’s most famous basketball player. He also went 4-0 against Austin Peay. Those reasons explain why the Austin Peay players went after him, and why they don’t have much of an argument.