Ja Morant didn’t appear to be shying away from the latest accusations made against him on Thursday night.
The Memphis Grizzlies star celebrated teammate Desmond Bane’s three-point shot against the Houston Rockets with a finger-gun reaction — days after it was reported Morant flashed a gun at a teen he allegedly hit last summer.
Nether Morant nor the Grizzlies have publicly addressed the police report, published Wednesday by the Washington Post, which included a claim the 23-year-old All-Star “threatened” a mall security guard in a parking lot altercation in Memphis four days before his run-in with the teen.
Morant netted 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the 113-99 win over Houston on Thursday — his first game since the police reports were publicized.
The accusations are the latest in a string of troubling behavior attributed to the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.
On Jan. 20, his father, Tee Morant, got into a dispute with ex-NFLer and Fox Sports host Shannon Sharpe that spilled over onto the court during a game against the Lakers.
In February, a member of Morant’s entourage was banned from Memphis’ FedExForum after the NBA investigated claims someone pointed a laser, potentially attached to a gun, at members of the Indiana Pacers traveling party.
This week, the Washington Post published a police report in which Morant’s crew got into it with the head of security at a Memphis mall, with the man saying he felt “threatened” and was shoved in a parking lot.
No arrests were made.
Four days after that incident, Morant purportedly struck a 17-year-old boy during a basketball game at his home, alleging the teen threw a ball at him to instigate the fight.
The NBA star went into his home and returned with his hand on a gun visible in the waistband of his pants, per the police report.
Morant alleges the teen threatened to “come back and light this place up like fireworks.”
The boy is suing Morant over injuries sustained in the incident according to TMZ, in which Morant claimed self-defense.
“I swung first,” the NBA star told detectives, adding “The ball was to me the first hit.”
Morant’s behavior, coupled with the Grizzlies’ struggles — the Western Conference’s No. 2 seed is 7-10 in their last 17 games — has drawn stern rebukes from the likes of Sharpe and others.
“Ja, you’re going to have to move differently,” Sharpe said on Fox Sports’ “Undisputed” on Thursday. “You’re in a different stratosphere now. I just think he needs to conduct himself as a person that’s in that same stratosphere.”
‘”He portrays that he is like something that he is not … He’s hustling backwards … Ja, just move differently, bruh… I would never give you any advice on how to play basketball, but I would try to give you some advice on how to move. Let somebody else’s lesson be your lesson.”
“Ja there are a lot of lessons out there for you to learn without having to learn that same lesson through your own hardship, that’s all I would say to him.”