Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant is set to miss the first 25 games of the upcoming regular season after the NBA handed down a lengthy suspension to the 24-year-old. Fortunately, he has been receiving advice from Zach Randolph, a former Grizzlies player who can empathize with him amid his issues.
The retired power forward, who knows what it’s like to run into trouble during life in the NBA, has assured Morant that he can bounce back.
“Man, I just tell him, ‘Ja, you’re lil bro. We all been through stuff. If it was social media like it was when I was playing, I’d be in some stuff too. You gon’ be alright. You just go through growing pains, and you be resilient, and you bounce back,'” Randolph told TMZ Sports. “And that’s what he is. He gon’ bounce back.”
Before Randolph became known for helping transform the Grizzlies organization in the 2010s, he had some run-ins with authorities.
For instance, less than a year after the Portland Trail Blazers drafted him in the first round in 2001, he was arrested for underage drinking. Later on, he threw a punch at teammate Ruben Patterson, resulting in a suspension and fine.
Perhaps the environment in Portland didn’t help Randolph’s development, as the team developed a reputation as the “Jail Blazers” for its players’ penchants for causing trouble.
However, Randolph’s woes continued even after he left Portland. It wasn’t until his stint with the Grizzlies that he was able to turn his career around.
His tenure in Memphis saw him earn two All-Star nods and one All-NBA selection.
It may be in Morant’s best interest to heed the counsel of the former Grizzlies star. Many feel that it’s also time for him to surround himself with people who are looking out for him and want what’s best for him.
Prior to his controversies, Morant had been on his way to becoming one of the faces of the league.
Over four seasons in the NBA, Morant has been named an All-Star twice and earned an All-NBA Second Team selection.
He even put up 30.2 points and 8.2 assists per game during his first trip to the playoffs, which took place during his sophomore year. The Murray State University product followed that up with 27.1 points and 9.8 assists per contest in the 2022 playoffs before averaging 24.6 points and 7.0 assists per game in last season’s playoffs.
Hopefully, he can indeed bounce back and give Grizzlies fans more reasons to root for the squad.