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Two-time All-Star Ja Morant knows he can only convince people he’s learned with action, not words

AP Sports Writer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Two-time All-Star Ja Morant said Friday being suspended by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for the first 25 games of the season has been tough with “some horrible days” as he worked to focus on himself away from basketball.

Morant also knows talking about being a better leader for the Memphis Grizzlies won’t be enough.

“I can’t, you know, make nobody believe me outside of my actions,” Morant said Friday. “So me answering this question with just words probably won’t mean nothing to nobody.”

Morant said basketball has been his therapy during his life and that taking the game away made things tougher. He credited his family, the Grizzlies and others, including therapy, for helping him since Silver handed down Morant’s second suspension in a four-month span in mid-June.

The guard first told reporters after the Los Angeles Lakers ousted Memphis in six games to start the playoffs in April that he had to make better decisions, knowing off-the-court issues affected the Grizzlies’ season.

Only two weeks later, Morant was singing with friends in a vehicle when caught holding up a handgun during a livestream video. Silver weighed the situation and announced a second suspension along with other steps for Morant to take.

Morant was smiling and joking with his teammates at Friday morning’s shootaround, pointing out when one of his shots would’ve gone in if not for someone else’s ball knocking his attempt away from the bucket.

Under the terms of his suspension, Morant has been allowed to practice and travel with the Grizzlies and take part in morning shootarounds. But then he has had to leave and not be at the arena while Memphis plays.

That has left him to be a cheerleader on social media in the only role available to him the first 25 games.

Morant said he’s counting down the days until he’s able to make his season debut Tuesday night in New Orleans.



Article Topic Follows: AP National

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