Dallas Mavericks star Kyrie Irving has hit out at the media and the public for an ‘overload of judgement’ towards Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant following his latest gun scandal.
Morant returned to the team Monday after two weeks away as he served an eight-game suspension for flashing a gun in a Denver-area nightclub on Instagram live in the early hours of March 4.
Irving, who has faced a fair share of controversy himself throughout his NBA career, and the Mavericks lost to the Grizzlies 112-108 Monday night as Morant watched on from the sidelines and following the game the Dallas guard embraced the young star.
The 30-year-old appeared to accuse the media of being to quick to pile on the judgement as it looked for the ‘next grab.’
‘I believe any hardship in life builds character,’ said Irving, who was also suspended earlier this season, via The Athletic.
Kyrie Irving (L) has hit out at the ‘overload of judgement’ on Grizzlies star Ja Morant (R)
Morant appeared to hold up a gun in an Instagram Live video in the early hours of March 4
‘When you’re dealing with particular hardships in the public eye, especially with the media being attracted to just keeping up with what we’re doing, or what’s the next kind of grab or story,’ Irving added.
‘I don’t want to assume anything by every media member, but that’s just the way it seems for me and my perspective, which is there was an overload of judgment on Ja. There was an overload of judgment on what I had going on, and there’s usually an overload of judgment from the public court of opinion.’
Irving sparked backlash and criticism of his own in October when he posted a link to the Amazon page for the 2018 film ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America’ based on a 2015 book of the same name, which has been described as ‘venomously anti-Semitic’.
The point guard, who was then playing for the Brooklyn Nets, initially refused to apologize for the tweet and doubled down on the controversial post in front of the media, which ultimately landed him with an eight-game suspension until he belatedly offered an apology.
Irving also missed time last season as he was unable to play home games in New York due to his refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Morant’s first game back could be against Houston on Wednesday and he is expected to practice Tuesday, addressing the media beforehand.
He returned to the team’s facilities Monday for the first time since his suspension and Dillon Brooks revealed that the guard apologized to each of his teammates for his actions.
‘He’s taking ownership of it, which is a great thing for his growth, for his basketball career, for everything,’ Brooks said. ‘You’re going to see a different Ja out there, who’s consistent every single night and is going to give us the energy that we need to be a top team in the West.’
Irving served a suspension of his own earlier this season for a controversial ‘anti-Semitic’ post
Morant received a warm reception as he returned to the FedEx Forum on Monday night
The 23-year-old watched the game from the sidelines after serving an eight-game suspension
Teammate Dillon Brooks revealed that the two-time All-star apologized to every Grizzly player
Brooks added that one teammate had said that Morant told him he wanted to come off the bench because of how well the Grizzlies were playing without him as they overcame a 16-point deficit in the third quarter
Brooks said his own response was, ‘hell no,’ before adding: ‘He’s proved everything from the jump.
‘Love him as a brother. He’s the one who really put this city on the map. We were a low-market team, just roaming around the NBA. Now we’re one of the most talked about teams in the NBA. We have a pride in the sense of a chip on our shoulder every single game.
‘He doesn’t have to prove anything to us. We have his back and he has our back.’
Morant reportedly blew $50,000 during his two-day bender at Shotgun Willie’s in Glendale, Colorado but left the girls in the VIP room ‘absolutely terrified’ after pulling out the gun.
Morant met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in New York City before the NBA announced his suspension on March 15, including six games he already had missed, eight in total.
The league investigation found that Morant was ‘holding a firearm in an intoxicated state’ — but did not prove the gun was owned by Morant ‘or was displayed by him beyond a brief period.’
The NBA also did not find that Morant had the gun with him on Memphis’ flight to Denver, or that he possessed the gun in any NBA facility.
Morant reportedly blew $50,000 and drooled over a stripper at Shotgun Willie’s
Morant said in an ESPN interview that the gun was not his and that he takes full responsibility
Police in Colorado conducted their own investigation and concluded there was no reason to charge Morant with a crime after looking into the circumstances surrounding the video.
Morant said in an ESPN interview on March 15 that the gun was not his and that he takes full responsibility for his actions. But the strip club incident wasn’t Morant’s first eyebrow-raising move. The Grizzlies had been talking with Morant about his off-court conduct even before the March 4 incident.
‘I can see the image that I painted over myself with my recent mistakes,’ Morant told ESPN. ‘But in the future, I’m going to show everybody who Ja really is, what I’m about and change this narrative that everybody got.’
Morant has been involved in four alleged gun-related incidents in recent months, with the strip club video just the latest in a string of controversies.
He was sued in September for allegedly punching a Tennessee teenager in the face during a pickup game, something the NBA star claims was in self defense.
New details from police interviews obtained by The Washington Post revealed that the 17-year-old told detectives from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office that the point guard hit him ’12 to 13 times,’ adding that Morant’s friend struck him an additional ‘four to five times.’
The teenager claimed that as he got up to leave after the fight Morant went into his house and re-emerged with a gun.
Morant is a huge name in the NBA but has been involved in a series of different controversies
In a baffling incident just days after the report was released, Morant courted yet more controversy – this time at an NBA game – when he performed a gun celebration after watching a teammate shoot a three-pointer.
Furthermore, there was an unsavory incident following the Grizzlies’ game with the Pacers on January 29, when acquaintances of Ja Morant ‘aggressively confronted’ members of Indiana’s traveling party – and pointed a red laser at them.
The Athletic said that Morant was riding with friend Davonte Pack and one other person in an SUV when a red laser was pointed at the Pacers bus.
Two people who spoke to the publication anonymously said they believed the laser was attached to a gun, while an Indiana security guard nearby claimed ‘that’s 100 percent a gun.’ However, it has not been confirmed it the laser was attached to a weapon.
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Sports Event Casino Handicap Description
|PK||0||It means not giving in to each other, and winning 1 point wins all.|
|0-50||0/0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses 50%.|
|0 loss||0.5||Indicates that when the handicap team is tied with the transferee team, the team betting on the handicap loses.|
|1+50||0.5/1||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 level||1||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the two teams will tie and win by 2 points.|
|1-50||1/1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 2 points.|
|1 loss||1.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 1 point, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins by 2 points.|
|2+50||1.5/2||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|2 flat||2||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the two teams will tie and win all 3 points.|
|2 losses||2/2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 3 points.|
|3+50||2.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 2 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 3 points.|
|3 losses||2.5/3||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap wins 50%, and all 4 points win.|
|3 levels||3||Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.|
|3-50||3/3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses 50% and wins all 4 points.|
|3 losses||3.5||When the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the team betting on the handicap loses all and wins all 4 points.|
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