NBA champ advises Ja Morant to ‘keep your s— tight,’ compares situation from his own life
Washington Wizards star Kyle Kuzma was asked about the situation surrounding Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant, who was suspended for two games for displaying a gun on social media.
Kuzma, who won an NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2020, was asked about the latest controversy surrounding the Grizzlies star after Saturday night’s 116-109 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors.
He said NBA players are blessed to be in the position they are in and drew parallels to his own situation where he had to realize who he was keeping in his circle.
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“I feel like black men in our country, especially we’re in the position that we’re in, that we’re blessed to be the 1-percent. We’re lucky, in his case, to have a shoe deal. , $200 million horizon, and I think a lot of times we’re statistics but we’re also role models,” Kuzma explained. “And you have to realize that everybody, every kid, everybody in general, they’re watching us. It’s just unfortunate.
“I know when I first came into the league I had all my homeboys around me back in the city. We had a great time and it was very important to have my homeboys around because I grew up with them. But if my house is just me and they’re not letting me be the best version of myself – are they really my house?
“It just sucks, man. It sure sucks.… I see another guy like Miles Bridges. A brother of mine, too. It’s all about your circle. You gotta keep your — tight. For us, like I said we’ve got all these positions, all this money and all this power and we want to try to use it for the greatest good. It doesn’t matter who you are. That’s it. will learn from. He’s so young. He has. A bright future. It’s part of his journey.”
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Warning: Strong language
Morant streamed the video on his Instagram Live and a screenshot of what appears to be him holding the gun was quickly circulated around social media outlets. The video was streamed hours after the Grizzlies played the Denver Nuggets on Saturday morning. The Grizzlies were set to take on the Clippers and Lakers in their upcoming games in Los Angeles.
Morant issued an apology.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night,” Morant said. “I apologize to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time to get help and work on learning better ways. Going. Coping with stress and my overall well-being.
The gun incident is the latest in a series of ongoing controversies surrounding the superstar point guard. Morant’s actions came under scrutiny after a Jan. 29 incident in Memphis in which he said one of his friends, Devonte Peck, was banned from home games for a year.
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Morant and Peck are also involved in a civil lawsuit brought after an incident last summer in which a 17-year-old alleged they assaulted him at Morant’s home. The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office said in January that it was “aware of the incident, and after a careful review of the facts, decided there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the case.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.