An altercation between associate Memphis Grizzlies All-Star Ja Morant and the Indiana Pacers resulted in an NBA investigation following their January 29 matchup at the FedEx Forum.
The Pacers claimed a red laser was pointed at them from an SUV carrying Morant, which the team believed was a weapon, according to The Athletic.
However, after its investigation, the NBA did not find that «any individual threatened others with a weapon.»
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«NBA league and security investigators conducted an investigation by interviewing numerous eyewitnesses and reviewing video surveillance following allegations made by the Indiana Pacers organization regarding a post-game incident on January 29,» read in a statement from the NBA, via CBS Sports.
«While we proved that a post-game situation arose that was adversarial, based on interviews and other evidence collected, we were unable to substantiate that any individual threatened others with a weapon. Certain individuals involved in the post-game situation and related matter during the game that night they were subsequently prohibited from attending games in the arena. If additional information is available regarding the post-game situation, additional review will be conducted by the league office.»
This situation has a backstory.
During the game, a brawl ensued between the Grizzlies and the Pacers, in which Morant’s father, Tee, and his close friend, Davonte Pack, were involved from their courtside seats. The video appeared to show both standing and Pack walking towards the scrum before being stopped.
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Morant seemed to indicate that Pack was banned from the FedEx Forum for a year.
«Was it seen in an investigation that they were cappin?» Morant wrote on Twitter. «I still let an article come out to paint this negative image of me and my family and he banned my brother from playing at home for a year. Unbelievable.»
When asked after the game what happened to cause the fight to occur, Morant said it was started by Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard, who told his father to «shut up.»
«I checked his temperature. He didn’t have a fever,» Morant told reporters.
After the game, two parked SUVs were next to the Pacers’ traveling party and some of Morant’s associates, including Pack, got out to start yelling at them. Athletic says that it happened between 15 and 20 minutes before being dissolved by security personnel.
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Morant would eventually get into one of the SUVs, and as it drove away, members of the Pacers’ group said they noticed the red laser. A security staff member believed it was «100 percent a weapon.»
Head coach Taylor Jenkins addressed the situation before the Grizzlies’ 106-103 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
«That was addressed internally. Mindful that the NBA did a full investigation. We fully complied with it,» he said briefly.
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Morant, who was named an All-Star for the second straight season, had an impressive triple-double in the win over Indiana, scoring 27 points with 15 assists and 10 rebounds.