Ja Morant Detailed The ‘Guilt’ He Feels For The Grizzlies Early Season Struggles Without Him

Ja Morant is nearing his return to the court from a 25-game suspension by the league after multiple incidents last year in which he was seen holding a gun on social media.

In his absence, the Grizzlies have struggled, starting the year 6-17 with two games remaining on Morant’s suspension, and they are already 6.5 games behind the 10-seed in the West, making for a long climb to even reach Play-In contention with Morant back in the lineup. On Friday, Morant spoke with the media for the first time this season, explaining what the process has been like for him as he was tasked by the league and the team to work on himself and learn to make better decisions.

Morant said he was disappointed by his actions but didn’t have any regrets, because those actions led him to this point where he could make some changes. That said, the lengthy suspension and the Grizzlies struggles without him might have had the intended effect on Morant, as he explained how he felt “guilt” and “responsibility” for Memphis’ slow start because it was his decisions that kept him from helping his team.

The point of the suspension was to give Morant time to work on himself, and for all the help therapy and other things can provide him, it might be this element that has the biggest immediate impact on the young star. Seeing his teammates struggling without him and knowing he should be there, but can’t be because of his actions might just have the lasting impact on him the league and team is hoping for from this suspension.

As was the case last time, words only hold so much meaning and everything comes down to what Morant does going forward. Hopefully this is the last time Morant has to miss extended time, and he can get back to being a leader on the floor in Memphis and continue to grow off of it.