Ja Morant’s friends allegedly threatened, trained a red laser on Pacers staff with Morant present after game
NBA investigated the incident, in which Pacers staff believe someone associated with Morant pointed a gun at them in the FedExForum parking lot
Several acquaintances of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant allegedly “aggressively confronted” members of the Indiana Pacers staff after their game at the FedExForum last month.
The group, according to The Athletic’s Bob Kravitz and Sam Amick, then allegedly trained a red laser on the Pacers staff from a slow-moving SUV. Morant was reportedly in the SUV, and the Pacers staff and additional security believed the laser was attached to a gun — though it's unclear who was controlling it.
“We felt we were in grave danger,” one person told The Athletic anonymously out of fear of retaliation.
The incident took place after what was a contentious game on Jan. 29. The Grizzlies beat the Pacers 112-100, but the postgame incident followed one in the third quarter in which one of Morant’s longtime friends, Davonte Pack, actually walked out onto the court and started yelling at Pacers players.
The game was briefly halted and Pack was removed from the floor after he, along with Morant’s father, Tee Morant, and members of both teams “verbally sparred.”
Ja Morant and Andrew Nembhard got into it and eventually James Johnson got involved. Looks like Ja Morant’s friend Davonte Pack was escorted off the floor. pic.twitter.com/etvu1yIXHZ
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) January 30, 2023
Pack and others then walked within about 30 feet of the Pacers bus after the game and started yelling at them again, per the report. The incident continued for about 15 minutes until Morant left the arena and got into an SUV with Pack and another person. That’s when the SUV then moved toward the Pacers bus and allegedly slowly pointed the laser at them.
The Pacers group did not file a police report, apparently out of fear, but the team did tell the NBA — which launched a probe into the incident. Several individuals have been banned from the arena, but the league did not confirm who they are nor if a weapon was involved. The Grizzlies declined to comment other than to say it “complied completely” with the NBA’s investigation.
“NBA Security and league investigators conducted an investigation interviewing numerous eyewitnesses and reviewing video surveillance following allegations made by the Indiana Pacers organization regarding a postgame incident on Jan. 29. While we substantiated that a postgame situation arose that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence gathered, we could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said told The Athletic. “Certain individuals involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during the game that night have been subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information becomes available related to the postgame situation, the league office will conduct a further review.”
Morant, who missed Sunday's game against the Toronto Raptors with right wrist soreness, responded on Twitter with a quote-tweet of Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins' pregame media address.
did a investigation seen they were cappin . still let a article come out to paint this negative image on me & my fam . & banned my brother from home games for a year . unbelievable 😂 https://t.co/08p4E8xhJJ
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) February 5, 2023
Jenkins briefly addressed the incident, too.
“[The NBA] did a full-on investigation, and we were fully compliant with it,” Jenkins said. “I think they came out with a statement saying nothing was corroborated or found. So that’s what I know, and that’s all I’m going to comment about.”
Morant is in his fourth season in the league after the Grizzlies took him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2019. He's averaging 27.3 points and a career-high 8.3 assists this season.