Ja Morant wins NBA Most Improved Player award, surprises teammate with award instead

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:15 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Grizzlies Guard Ja Morant won the NBA Most Improved Player Award for the 2020-2021 season. Morant earned 221 points, including 38-first place votes, to win the prestigious honor.

He beat out Spurs Guard Dejounte Murray (183) and Cavaliers Guard Darius Garland (178), who finished second and third respectively. Morant, 22, took a sensational leap in his third-NBA season with Memphis.

He averaged 27.4 points during the regular season and earned his first All-Star nomination as a starter. He also tacked on 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds per contest, while shooting career-bests 49.3% from the floor and 34.4% from beyond the arc.

Morant found out the news from Grizzlies Head Coach Taylor Jenkins gets and the whole team during Monday’s practice.

The former NBA Rookie of the Year improves on his 19.7 PPG mark from last year. Morant is must-watch TV during the regular season, producing Highlight Reel Plays almost every night.

His individual efforts helped propel the Grizzlies to an 18-game improvement this year, tying a franchise record with 56 wins, and earning the No. 2 seed, not just in the Western Conference, but the entire NBA.

The icing on the cake? Morant felt as though his teammate Desmond Bane deserved the award. He came home to the award sitting inside a box on his kitchen counter.

“What is he doing? This is his award,” smiled Bane. “Man, take this back to 12.”

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