It’s the greatest story the game of basketball has ever told. The purest part of its narrative.
It only took one game after Ja Morant’s suspension for him to rewrite his and turn it all around in a classic chapter for the page.
A chorus of pre-game Pelican fan boos greeted the former Rookie of the Year and NBA’s Most Improved Player at the Smoothie King Center. But that didn’t stop the second pick in the 2019 draft, showing the crowd he was still the one in his next career improvement.
Ja ruled for the Memphis Grizzlies, grinding with 34 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals and the true grit of the game winning bucket. Number 12 lifted his franchise over the New Orleans Pelicans, 115-113, on the road.
You should have seen his father’s face.
Morant was suspended for 25 games after flashing handguns on social media. A stupid mistake of a young man, but one that shouldn’t be held against him, as he has now served his time away from the court and learned his lesson. His humble press conference is evidence of that.
“In the end, I feel like it made me better,” Ja told the press. “I feel like I learned some stuff about myself that I did during that process. Very eye-opening. It kind of gave me a new look on life. How I go about my days. How I carry myself.”
His turnaround can inspire all those who look up to him that you can change. This can make him a positive role model again.
Right now, as Golden State Warrior icon Draymond Green is serving a suspension for his reckless attitude on-court, people are praising and saying they hope he gets the help he needs. That’s the positive energy we need right now in a world too focussed on taking joy out of the negative.
Morant has got the help he needed and is showing growth.
“I can’t, you know, make nobody believe me outside of my actions,” he added in his presser. “So me answering this question with just words probably won’t mean nothing to nobody.”
Right now, this should all be enough.
Yet, you know how some people are. Especially on the toxic troll’s lair that has become social media. How that can also affect your mind too. Influencing those easily swayed, or not mature enough to make their own balanced opinions.
The algorithms that fill your accounts with the timeline version of junk mail make it even worse. Meaning, most NBA fans that are just here for the game will be exposed to all that ignorance too.
We gave Allen Iverson a second chance. So why not believe in Ja too? Like A.I. holding his ear in the First Union Center after an iconic performance, what can they say now?
Floating above it all with his game-winner in the lane. Morant means to make much more out of his career and life than just one mistake and all the hate that may or may not come with it.
The boos will die down. The legend will continue to grow.
“I’m not forcing a historic game my first game back,” he added in his press conference’s closing.
Yeah, tell that to the clutch performance he just had.
It’s Ja’s world again.