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Spears on Morant: ‘My guess now is…he doesn’t play the rest of the season’



The Ja Morant situation sounds very serious.

The Grizzlies star guard has been away from the team since March 3 and there doesn’t appear to be any end in sight. It was reported on Monday that Morant has entered counseling, and that his absence from the team remains indefinite.

Veteran NBA reporter Marc J. Spears went one step further on Tuesday, saying on “The Hoop Collective” podcast that he doesn’t expect Morant to suit up again this season. He also said that he’s very concerned about the situation.

“My prayers to him, that he figures it out. There’s things I’m hearing that I’d rather probably not say on this podcast, but I hope he’s taking care of himself,” Spears said.

“I’m not really worried about the basketball part for him right now. I’m worried about the human part, and that, when he does come back, he’s healthy, mentally and physically.

“My guess now is, not that you’d bet on this, is that he doesn’t play the rest of the season as he takes care of himself.”

What exactly Morant is in counseling for is unclear. Morant left the team on March 6 after he filmed himself on Instagram live apparently flashing a gun at a strip club. It was just the latest in a string of concerning incidents that included punching a 17-year-old during a pickup basketball game at his house and sitting in a vehicle that allegedly trained a red dot sight at the Indiana Pacers after a game.

Morant was initially suspended for at least two games, but his suspension has been considered indefinite for the better part of a week. While Morant clearly is having issues with his behavior, both the league and the Grizzlies have been non-specific regarding what specific issues Morant is going through.

How long this will last is anybody’s guess. At 23, Morant is the best player on one of the best teams in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies currently have 16 games remaining until the playoffs, which begin on April 15.