Ja Morant under fire after apparent gun celebration at end of Grizzlies-Pelicans game

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant came under fire on social media after he appeared to mimic using a gun as part of his celebration after a dunk against the New Orleans Pelicans.

While it seems that Morant mimicked a shooting motion, he appeared to quickly change his celebration into a dance.

Morant missed the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season as he was serving a suspension for brandishing a firearm on Instagram Live following the Grizzlies getting knocked out of the playoffs in the 2022-23 season.

It was the second time Morant had flashed a firearm on Instagram Live in the last year.

Morant’s celebration was scrutinized by users on social media following the Grizzlies’ win over New Orleans on Tuesday night.

Another user seemed to come to Morant’s defense, sharing a video of players from the Louisiana State University football team doing a similar celebration. The social media user seemed to imply that Morant was copying that celebration. Morant reposted the video and later shared his own post.

The Grizzlies and Morant are hoping he can avoid anything that has to do with a firearm, as the team does not want to lose him to another suspension this season. After a brutal start to the season without Morant (6-19 in their first 25 games), the Grizzlies have now won four straight since he returned to action.

There’s no doubt that Morant is one of the most talented players in the NBA, and he’s already earned plenty of accolades in just a few seasons. Morant is a two-time All-Star, one-time All-NBA selection, Most Improved Player award winner and Rookie of the Year award winner.

That’s an impressive resume for a player who is only in his fifth NBA campaign.

In the Grizzlies’ overtime win over New Orleans on Tuesday, Morant put up 31 points, four rebounds and seven assists while shooting 12-for-24 from the field.

He’s made a huge impact for Memphis in his four games this season, averaging 28.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game while shooting 50.6 percent from the field. While the Grizzlies are still the No. 13 seed in the Western Conference, the team may have a shot at the playoffs with Morant back in the lineup.

Hopefully, the Grizzlies guard can keep himself out of trouble off the court and continue to shine on it.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.