Silver told ESPN on Tuesday that the league was investigating the new video.
“The videos have been grainy and all that,” he said. “But I’m assuming the worst.”
As part of the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement between the players’ union and team owners, players agree to “not to do anything that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests” of the team or the league. NYTIMES
NEW YORK – Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant apologised late on Tuesday after receiving days of backlash for a social media video that appeared to show him brandishing a gun in public for the second time in just over two months.
“I know I’ve disappointed a lot of people who have supported me,” he said in a statement.
“This is a journey and I recognise there is more work to do. My words may not mean much right now, but I take full accountability for my actions. I’m committed to continuing to work on myself.”
National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver said in a televised interview with ESPN on the same day that he was “shocked” by the video, which Morant’s friend reportedly streamed live on Instagram.
Morant, 23, is one of the best young players in the NBA.
He has already made two All-Star teams and one All-NBA team just four years into his career. He won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2020, is best known for high-flying dunks and has made the Grizzlies a strong contender in the Western Conference as the No. 2 seed in back-to-back seasons.
He is also part of a new generation of NBA stars the league hopes will help the game transition from aging figures like LeBron James, 38, and Stephen Curry, 35. Morant has a new signature sneaker with Nike and was announced as the new face of Powerade in March.
The guard first faced criticism in March when a live video on his Instagram account showed him waving around a firearm in a Colorado nightclub. The NBA suspended him for eight games.
Morant also apologised then, taking “full responsibility” for his actions. He also vowed to “work on better methods of dealing with stress” and went to a counseling facility in Florida.
Silver has called Morant’s actions “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous”.
The video was posted as other Morant-related controversies swirled.
In a lawsuit, Josh Holloway, then 17, had accused Morant of punching him during a pickup basketball game last summer. Morant told the police that it was self-defence.
A mall employee had also accused Morant of assaulting him after Morant’s mother had a dispute at a shoe store. He has not been charged with a crime in any of these incidents.
Recordings of the new video went viral on Sunday. The Grizzlies quickly suspended Morant from all team activities, though the team was eliminated from the play-offs in April.