Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant has been served an eight-game suspension without pay for brandishing a handgun in a Denver nightclub earlier this month. The incident was captured on Instagram Live. The NBA announced his suspension in a statement that also included a comment from Commissioner Adam Silver.

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“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” Silver said.  “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him. He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior.  Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court.”

Shortly after the suspension was announced, Morant spoke to Jalen Rose on ESPN about the incident. It was his first time speaking to the media since the incident took place on March 4. Though the Grizzlies star defended himself, reaffirming that the gun in the video wasn’t his, he also admitted that he made mistakes and would work to improve his reputation.

“The gun wasn’t mine,” Morant said. “It’s not who I am. I don’t condone any type of violence, but I take full responsibility for my actions. I’ve made a bad mistake. I can see the image that I’ve painted over myself with my recent mistakes. In the future, I’m gonna show everybody who Ja really is, what I’m about and change this narrative.”

Morant will not face charges for the incident after investigators confirmed that the gun did not belong to him. He said that he has already begun several therapy treatments in an attempt to better control himself in times of struggle. He will be eligible to return to the team on March 20, when the Grizzlies take on Dallas Mavericks.

“I realize what I have to lose, and for us as a group, what we have to lose. It’s pretty much just that being more responsible, more smarter and staying away from all the bad decisions.”

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