Grizzlies fans show support for Ja Morant while he’s ‘away’ from team

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against...
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)(Rick Scuteri | AP)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 10:24 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis Grizzlies delivered a win Thursday against the Golden State Warriors without superstar Ja Morant. This was the first of at least four games Morant will miss while he’s “away” from the team.

It’s been nearly a week since the Grizzlies announced their star point guard would be away from the team and one day since police in Colorado decided not to file charges against Morant after a social media video showed him flashing a gun.

“The hope was that this would never have happened and everything was as good as it should be, and there have been dialogues of what he’s got to do to be better and things just came to a head then,” said Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins.

However, Morant’s absence was felt by fans at FedExForum, who say they are standing behind Morant and can’t wait until he’s back.

“To be honest, it’s kind of devastating,” said Grizzlies fan Cedric Brown.

Despite this, hundreds of fans still showed up cheering on the Beale Street Bears as they play their West Coast rival, the Golden State Warriors.

“It kind of sucks, they still got a good team, but you know, he brings out extra sauce, but you know, next man up,” said Grizzlies fan Jeremiah Knight. “It’s a big game.”

A big game without some key players due to injury, but a hard-fought battle to win as a team without Morant.

“We definitely miss him,” said Grizzlies fan Shandrika Rosser. “We love him. We’re praying for him. We hope that he gets everything together in time for playoffs because we really need him.”

Coach Jenkins did not say when Morant would return to the team but did say Ja is fully on board with doing what he has to do to make it back.

Fans hope that’s sooner rather than later.

“Yes he’s a great help to his community,” said Brown. “Who loves being here. You can feel it. You can tell that he loves being in Memphis. He loves playing for the team. He loves playing for us and it’s hard not seeing him here.”

The Grizzlies play again Saturday at home against the Dallas Mavericks. It’ll be the second home game without Morant, since he’s been away from the team.

The NBA’s investigation into Morant’s actions is ongoing.

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