Ja Morant has been charged with a series of violent incidents in the past year, including beating a 17-year-old boy and then having a weapon visible on his waistband.
The Memphis Grizzlies superstar admitted to police that he «struck first» but says he acted in self-defense, pointing out that the boy had become the aggressor by throwing a basketball at Morant’s head and pulling up his pants. as a «want to fight» signal. ”, according to the Washington Post.
Morant, 23, told police the boy said he would «go back and light this place up like fireworks.» Morant later filed a police report on the boy’s comment, citing threats to his family.
The boy reportedly told police that he once considered Morant a mentor and had been invited to play casual games at Morant’s residence in the past.
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The two reportedly shared hard passes with each other when controlling the ball, but the boy’s pass slipped and hit Morant in the face. That’s when Morant rested his chin on the boy’s shoulder and asked a friend, «Do I do it for him?» When the friend answered yes, Morant spun and hit the boy in the jaw.
Morant allegedly hit the boy «12 or 13 times» and his friends added «four or five» more hits. However, prosecutors did not press charges, saying there was insufficient evidence to go to trial.
Four days earlier, Morant allegedly «threatened» the head of security at a Memphis mall, and was shoved in the head by a member of Morant’s group. The NBA star’s mother allegedly got into a dispute at a Finish Line store, who then called her son. She then arrived at the mall with more than nine other people.
Morant and his friends apparently refused to follow security orders to leave the mall parking lot. Police arrived and a «verbal confrontation» ensued, along with shoving of the security director. No arrests were made.
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The new allegations stem from a previous controversy involving Morant: The Indiana Pacers claimed that after an altercation between Morant’s associates and the Pacers, a red laser was pointed at the team from an SUV carrying Morant, which the Pacers believed was it was a gun.
The NBA investigated the incident and found that no «individual threatened others with a weapon.»
«Any and all allegations involving a firearm have been fully investigated and have not been substantiated. This includes last month’s NBA investigation, which found no evidence,» Morant’s agent said. , Jim Tanner. the washington postadding that «it was purely self-defense. Again, after law enforcement fully investigated this, they made the decision not to charge Ja with any crime.»
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Morant is averaging 27.2 points, 8.2 assists and 6.0 rebounds per game for the Grizzlies (37-23), who rank second in the Western Conference. He scored 39 points against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies and Morant agency did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.