Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant could face a suspension from the NBA on top of his absence from the team following the gun controversy that popped up over the weekend, a basketball insider suggested.
NBA journalist Marc Stein appeared on “This League Uncut” podcast on Tuesday and said the different elements of the situation could lead to a suspension.
“There are a couple of elements that the NBA and law enforcement in Colorado, what they’re trying to investigate or look into,” Stein said. “This was done on the road. This was at a club in Denver, I believe. And so there’s questions of did he personally bring the pistol in himself? And then, being on the road, there’s a question as to did he have the pistol on the team plane?”
Stein initially suggested Morant could get an automatic 50-game suspension, citing the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. But later clarified there was no binary suspension for the matter.
“I stated something incorrectly on today’s podcast,” Stein tweeted.
“A firearm on team premises is indeed a violation of NBA rules and subjects the player to discipline … but there is NO specific suspension length in league bylaws.
“Suspension length is imposed at the commissioner’s discretion.”
CBS Sports related the wording in the NBA’s CBA.
“Section 9. Firearms and Other Weapons. (a) Whenever a player is physically present at a facility or venue owned, operated, or being used by a Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, and whenever a player is traveling on any NBA-related business, whether on behalf of the player’s Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, such player shall not possess a firearm of any kind or any other deadly weapon. For purposes of the foregoing, ‘a facility or venue’ includes, but is not limited to: an arena; a practice facility; a Team or League office or facility; an All-Star or NBA Playoff venue; and the site of a promotional or charitable appearance.
“(c) Any violation of Section 9(a) or Section 9(b) above shall be considered conduct prejudicial to the NBA under Article 35(d) of the NBA Constitution and By-Laws, and shall therefore subject the player to discipline by the NBA in accordance with such Article.”
NBA rules state that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver should “have the power to suspend for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $1,000,000, or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any person who, in his opinion, shall have been guilty of conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.”
Police in Glendale, Colorado, said they were investigating the controversy as well as the NBA.
Laura Ehret, the Grizzlies’ vice president of communications and basketball information strategy, told USA Today the team follows TSA regulations.
Morant has been away from the team since Friday night’s drama.