Memphis Grizzlies All-Star guard Ja Morant has been accused of threatening the head of security at a Memphis mall last summer per a police report obtained by The Washington Post. In the report, the security guard said Morant made threatening remarks while a person with the Grizzlies guard shoved the director.
The altercation started after Morant’s mother had a dispute with an employee at a Finish Line store within the mall, which led her to call her son. Upon arrival, Morant and the people that came with him were told to leave by the head of security, and they refused, prompting police to arrive. A “verbal confrontation” transpired and then a member of Morant’s group pushed the security guard in the head. According to the police report, Morant then said “let me find out what time he gets off,” which made the guard want to file a report as he felt “threatened” by Morant’s statement. No arrests were made in the incident.
Four days after that incident at the mall, Morant was then accused of punching a 17-year-old boy during a pickup basketball game at his home in Memphis. During that incident, Morant told police he acted in self-defense as he said the boy threw a basketball which hit him in the head. However, the teenager detailed a different situation.
Per The Washington Post:
“The teenager drew the task of guarding one of the world’s most electric scorers. When Morant threw the ball hard at the boy’s chest as he attempted to check it in, the boy threw it back just as hard. The ball “slipped through [Morant’s] hands,” the teenager said, and it hit Morant’s chin.
The teenager told police Morant then put his chin on the boy’s shoulder and asked his friend, “Do I do it to him?” The friend responded, “Yeah, do it.”
Morant then punched the boy in his jaw, the boy told police, and without warning, the friend struck him on the other side.”
The teenager said he fell to the ground where Morant hit him “like 12 to 13 times,” while his friend also hit him four or five times. The boy told police that Morant went back inside his house and returned with a gun in his waistband. Though the 17-year-old said Morant didn’t pull the gun out, he said he put his hand on it while it was tucked into his pants. The police never confirmed if Morant had a gun.
Morant told police that he “swung first” on the teenager, but that it was self-defense as the boy threw a basketball at his head then got into a stance that the Grizzlies star took as him wanting to fight. Morant told police, “The ball was the first swing to me.”
The teenager’s mom filed a police report the day of the incident, and took him to the hospital the following day. Two weeks after the altercation Morant and his family then filed a police report against the teenager, alleging that he said he was going to “come back and light this place up like fireworks.” Morant and his family believed that the boy would return and shoot them, per the police report.
Shortly after that, the teenager and his mother then filed a lawsuit against Morant and Davonte Pack, who is believed to be the other attacker in the incident, which is ongoing and sealed.
In January, the NBA investigated a separate incident involving acquaintances of Morant. After a game between the Grizzlies and Pacers, members of Indiana’s traveling party told The Athletic that someone in an SUV that Morant was traveling in shined a red laser at them. They believed it was a gun, however the NBA said it could “not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon.”