Ja Morant on ESPN

Ja Morant Speaks Publicly For First Time Since Nightclub Incident; 'I Take Full Responsibility For My Actions'

Home / Sports / Ja Morant Speaks Publicly For First Time Since Nightclub Incident; 'I Take Full Responsibility For My Actions'

By Melanie VanDerveer on March 16, 2023 at 9:00 PM EDT

After meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Wednesday, NBA star Ja Morant sat down with ESPN's Jalen Rose to discuss all that's happened in his first interview since the nightclub incident in early March.

Rose, who has spoken out about understanding where Morant, 23, is because of his own troubled past as a young NBA player, sat down with the Memphis Grizzlies star and asked about what was going through his head during the nightclub Instagram Live, as well as the other recent concerning incidents that Morant has been involved in.

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Ja Morant Speaks Publicly For The First Time Since The Nightclub Incident

Jalen Rose interviews Ja Morant
NBA on ESPN - YouTube

Morant said his meeting with Silver, where he was suspended for eight games, went well. "Pretty much an open discussion. Obviously, you know, he said things I need to be better at but more of just showing his support towards me," Morant said.

"Also, I sent my apologies to everybody, the league, myself, my teammates, my family, for putting that negativity towards all of us with a bad decision."

Rose then set the scene from the night of the strip club incident when Morant went Live flashing a gun asking, "Tough loss at Denver, you're at the spot, shirt off, what were you thinking and feeling at that moment when you decided to go Live?"

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"Pretty much just trying to be free. Use that as the escape, which I shouldn't have. I feel like that's the reason I made many bad decisions in my past, which doesn't describe Ja as a person. I'm a totally different person than what's been shown in the media," Morant responded.

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Then Rose asked about the gun and what he was thinking in that moment. "I felt like I was releasing stress and I felt like it was healthy for me and it wasn't, and that caused me to do some things I shouldn't have," Morant said.

"The gun wasn't mine. It's not who I am. I don't condone any type of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions. And I can see the imagine, you know, that I painted over myself with my recent mistakes, but in the future, I'm gonna show everybody who Ja really is."

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Jalen Rose Also Asked About Earlier Incidents Ja Morant Was Involved In

Ja Morant
Ja Morant - Instagram

Rose also brought up the incident after an Indiana Pacers game when somebody allegedly pointed a red dot at their personnel. "Majority of the things that's happened in the past, obviously, I kind of put myself into by even being there. The NBA investigated everything thoroughly and found no evidence of anything," Morant said.

Then Rose asked about the mall incident with Morant's mom, and a volleyball game with his sister.

"I gotta a call. I went to make sure my mom was safe. That's my lifeline, that's who birthed me, so I went to make sure she was safe. Once I realized that, I left the scene," Morant said.

"That's my baby sister. I received a call and I was checking on her safety. Another situation once I found out she was safe, I left the scene. Obviously, I realized, Ja showed up, and that's all everybody really needed to paint whatever picture they want and I realize now that's a problem and I put myself in those situations."

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Ja Morant Talked About What He's Learned In The Past 10 Days Amid His NBA Suspension

Ja Morant interview with Jalen Rose
NBA on ESPN - YouTube

When Morant was asked about how the past 10 days have gone for him and what he's learned, he explained that he knows he can now open up and express his feelings. "I was constantly talking to therapists. I've been doing reiki treatment, I've been doing anxiety breathing, different stuff to help me manage that and release all that stuff from my body," Morant explained.

He also talked about what needs to change with his "inner circle" and some new realizations about what's at stake and what he has to lose. Having the time off to really focus on that has brought a new awareness to him. Morant said he accepts his punishment and can't wait to get back on the court.

"I can't wait to be back out there on the floor now knowing what my punishment is, I accept that," he said. "I feel like I deserve that punishment for my mistakes and what I did, but when I get back out there, I'm gonna be ready to go and ready to push for a ring."

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