Memphis Grizzlies rising star Ja Morant was quickly on his way to becoming one of the faces of the NBA thanks to his performances, youthful energy and charismatic personality but then made mistakes that received commentary from Gilbert Arenas.
Alcohol-filled strip club nights and a penchant for putting his firearm on social media led NBA fans and league decision makers to wonder if Morant was a bit too reckless, especially given his influence. In the end, Morant suffered two suspensions for a total of 33 games in the past year.
However, the 25-game suspension for Ja imposed by NBA commisioner Adam Silver on June 16 is still in question, with many questioning whether the punishment was too high for the crime. Former NBA star Gilbert Arenas is among them.
“It’s too heavy.” Arenas tells TMZ Sports. “The gun suspensions in the NBA — the actual real gun suspensions — have only been one, three and seven games. Seven games was the most important but because there was gunfire in a crowded place. Now my suspension and Ja’s suspension are not related to guns but to conduct. Which is harmful conduct, which has no number. It can be from 1 to 82 games, depending on how they feel at the time. That’s the unfair part.”
“It is the public’s perception.” Gilbert Arenas replied when asked why Morant was suspended. “The public wants him to be stopped. So, now the NBA comes in and says, ‘All right, we have to punish him.’ “