Ja Morant (left) and Dillon Brooks (right) have led Memphis to a record of 51-31 this season.
The Memphis Grizzlies are a dominant young team in today’s NBA. Led by Ja Morant, the Grizzlies are currently ranked as the second-best team in the Western Conference and many fans think that they have a good chance of making it to the finals. Unfortunately, Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks have recently introduced some internal problems that could negatively affect the Grizzlies’ playoff run.
Ja Morant’s recent presence in the news can only be seen as troubling by Grizzlies fans. On March 4, an Instagram Live post depicted the young superstar flaunting a pistol in a crowded area. Morant did not seem oblivious to his actions at the time. In fact, the post was released from Morant’s own account. Not only were his actions a massive blow to the NBA’s reputability, but he was also very close to landing himself behind bars. The previously mentioned events took place shortly after an away game against the Denver Nuggets, so many officials believed that he brought the firearm on the team plane. If he was found guilty of this, Ja Morant could have received up to a 50-game suspension. Thankfully, it has been proven that the weapon did not belong to Morant, so his suspension was short-lived. According to Morant himself, he has also been going to counseling to “get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and [his] overall well-being.”
While Ja Morant’s success in the NBA should not be ignored, NBA fans cannot afford to give him a free pass for these wrongdoings. According to Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, “Ja's conduct was irresponsible, reckless, and potentially very dangerous. It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.” Younger NBA fans look up to their players, so it is very obvious for the NBA to want its players to have a positive influence on social media. It can also be noted that Morant is only 23 years old, but with his massive media presence, he should have done better to keep his controversial hobbies in a more private setting.
Public Enemy #1
Dillion Brooks has caused problems throughout the entirety of the NBA. He has accumulated the most technical fouls in the league, been ejected from two games (as of April 3rd), and has lost around 253,242 dollars in fines. His reputation as a dirty player is talked about more than his basketball ability, but that hasn’t stopped him from starting petty arguments with other players.
One of Brooks’ most notable feuds this season came about during a Cleveland Cavaliers game. After Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs’ star player, came down to the ground after missing a layup, Brooks was seen hitting him in his private area. The two players got into a brawl on the court, and they both ended up ejected from the game. In a post-game conference, Mitchell exclaimed, “That's just who he is. We've seen it a bunch in this league with him… Quite frankly, I've been busting his [expletive] for years.” Donovan Mitchell and other players around the league simply do not respect Brooks as a player; his antics are viewed by sports analysts as his way to stay relevant and hide his mediocre basketball abilities.
Brooks’ most recent offense has further cemented his reputation as a terrible person and a bad basketball player. He has somehow discovered a way to make even the most innocent of accidents into an act of aggression. While chasing for a loose ball during a game against the Miami Heat, Brooks accidentally crashed into the cameraman table. However, Brooks decided to push the cameraman back to the ground. The cameraman received substantial injuries from this encounter, so Brooks was fined 35,000 dollars. Many NBA greats are looking down upon Brooks’ actions, and fans shouldn’t encourage his behavior either.