Coach: No timetable for Ja Morant’s return to Grizzlies




The timetable for Ja Morant’s return to the Memphis Grizzlies is unofficially as long as it takes.

Head coach Taylor Jenkins said the Grizzles don’t expect Morant to return right away after missing "at least two games."

That was the initial assessment from the franchise when Morant was suspended for off-court behavior, including an early morning video purported to be recorded at a strip club in which the All-Star guard brandishes a pistol. The video was posted a few hours after the Grizzlies lost on the road to the Denver Nuggets, but his exact location wasn’t confirmed.

"We want what’s best for him. We support him. It’s going to be a difficult process, but we’ve got a great group to get through this," Jenkins said Sunday.

The NBA will ultimately have a say in when Morant returns.

One of the faces of the league and a contender for NBA Most Valuable Player, the video posted to social media comes days after a Washington Post report that Morant was accused of assaulting a teenager and threatening him with a gun after a pickup game in his neighborhood. Less is known about other alleged incidents involving Morant and his family or associates, including alleged threats made to mall security after Morant’s mother was involved in a disagreement at Finish Line.

"We are aware of a social media post involving Ja Morant and are investigating," Mike Bass, NBA spokesman, said after reports surfaced Morant violated NBA rules by taking a weapon on a team charter flight to Denver.

A violation of that NBA rule could result in a lengthy suspension.

The league was also made aware by Indiana Pacers staffers of an incident they described as an "aggressive confrontation" outside of Memphis’ home stadium earlier this season. Morant’s friends allegedly threatened and trained a red laser from a slow-moving SUV on members of the Pacers’ staff.

Morant, 23, didn’t play Sunday when the Grizzlies visited the Los Angeles Clippers and is out for Tuesday’s game at the same venue against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane said Sunday teammates are ready to accept and welcome Morant back as soon as he’s ready.

"We’re a big family," Bane said. "We’re wrapping our arms around him and showing our love to him. ... He’s a resilient guy, tough-minded guy. Whenever he’s ready to come back, we’ll welcome him with open arms."

Morant apologized in a statement over the weekend, and his social media accounts were since deactivated.

"I take full responsibility for my actions last night," the statement read. "I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down. I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being."

--Field Level Media

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