‘Undisputed’ co-host Skip Bayless has criticized Ja Morant for quoting a rap lyric on his return to the Memphis Grizzlies to watch their win from the sidelines Monday night.
Morant returned from an eight-game suspension after he flashed a gun in a strip club on Instagram live on March and, although he had been cleared to play, the Grizzlies opted to sit him out in order to gradually get him back into playing shape.
Despite having an off-court role, the 23-year-old managed to stay very involved in the game, cheerleading his teammates and animatedly jumping up and down in the middle of team huddles.
He topped it off by crashing Memphis forward Santi Aldama’s postgame interview by shouting, ‘It’s a parade inside my city, yeah,’ which is the opening lyric to rapper NBA Youngboy’s ‘Fresh Prince of Utah,’ a song used as the Grizzlies’ postgame anthem after a win.
However, Bayless took issue with Morant’s theatrics, in particular the lyric, as he claimed it did not bode well for the guard’s redemption arc.
Skip Bayless (R) criticized Ja Morant (L) for quoting a rap lyric on his return to the Grizzlies
‘If I just take quotes a rap lyric inside a vacuum, it’s just so not a big deal, that it’s laughable that we’re even discussing it,’ Bayless began on ‘Undisputed’ Tuesday. ‘But we can’t, when it comes to Ja, take it out of the context of what he just went through. It was not a good sign that he quoted that rap lyric.
‘I think he’s a smart kid,’ Bayless added. ‘I think he knows exactly what he’s all about. When he makes choices, even if they’re bad choices, I think they’re not dumb choices. They’re calculated on his part.’
The analyst also said he felt Morant should have been more subdued on his return after the backlash his actions have caused in recent weeks.
‘So he’s back on the bench, and I’m happy to see him back on the bench, and I thought is he going to be a little bit subdued just out of respect for what he’s been through? No, he was not.
‘He was 1000 percent Ja Morant on the bench. He wanted to be the center of attention every time timeout was called and the team’s coming to the sideline to huddle, he’s jumping up and down in the middle of it because he just can’t wait to get back on the floor.’
Morant entered a counseling program in Florida last week after he had announced he would be taking some time away from the game.
However, he did not appear to spend long there and Bayless claimed it was not enough time to have corrected Morant’s behavior.
Morant appeared to hold up a gun in an Instagram Live video in the early hours of March 4
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
‘I felt a little bit misled by all this because I gave in in his opening statement that he made that he said, “I’m going to seek the help that I need,'” Bayless said.
‘And then Nike defended him, in ways that it didn’t back Kyrie [Irving].’ Even Nike said in its statement that it was glad that he was going to take the time to get the help he needs. Well, the operative word was time because I thought it was going to take a little, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he was gone for the rest of the season.’
Sportswear giant Nike had stood by their star athlete, issuing a statement, via The Athletic, after his apology.
‘We appreciate Ja’s accountability and that he is taking the time to get the help he needs,’ the statement read. ‘We support his prioritization of his well-being.’
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 released a statement apologizing to his family, teammates and fans for his actions
The guard reportedly blew $50,000 and drooled over a stripper at Shotgun Willie’s
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.’
Morant said in an ESPN interview that the gun was not his and that he takes full responsibility
Morant is a huge name in the NBA but has been involved in a series of different controversies
The teenager claimed that as he got up to leave after the fight Morant went into his house and re-emerged with a gun.
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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