Ja Morant cleared of criminal charges, remains out indefinitely after video with gun at Colorado strip club
A day after Ja Morant missed his second straight game, police in Colorado announced that the Memphis Grizzlies star won't be charged with a crime after brandishing a gun in a night club and posting video of the incident on social media.
Glendale, Colorado, police confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that the incident took place at Shotgun Willie's, a strip club in the Denver suburb. Per the statement, police were "not able to determine that probable cause existed for filing any charges."
"In this case, it should be noted that on the night in question the GPD did not receive any calls for service at the nightclub regarding a weapon of any type," the statement reads. "Subsequently, no disturbances were reported, and no citizens or patrons of the club came forward to make a complaint.
"The investigation also concluded that no one was threatened or menaced by the firearm and in fact no firearm was ever located."
Police acknowledged that Morant was seen on video "holding what appeared to be a firearm."
When will Morant return to basketball?
Morant hasn't played in the two Memphis games since the strip-club incident. The Grizzlies announced after Wednesday's statement from Glendale Police that he will "remain away from the team for at least the next four games."
The Grizzlies previously announced on Saturday that Morant would be away from the team for at least two games but did not call it a suspension. When asked about a timeline for his return prior to tip on Tuesday, head coach Taylor Jenkins called projecting one "disrespectful."
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins on Ja Morant return: “It’s a healing process. If everyone expects something to change overnight, we’ve got to be due diligence and respectful on that. We’re talking about Ja being in a better place… To put a timetable on it is disrespectful.” pic.twitter.com/0ogbtmDp6b
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) March 8, 2023
"I said yesterday it's a healing process," Jenkins told reporters. "So if everyone expects something to change overnight, we've gotta be, you know, due diligence and respectful of that.
"We're talking about Ja being in a better place personally and also professionally. To put a timetable on it, I think is disrespectful in my opinion. We want to make sure he's in a great place for himself but also as a responsible teammate here."
The announcement that Morant would be away from the team came after he posted the social media video of himself holding a gun while dancing in the club.
Grizzlies star Ja Morant was allegedly seen showing off a gun on his IG Live this morning.pic.twitter.com/HlhvoWlnYy
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) March 4, 2023
The Grizzlies played and lost to the Nuggets in Denver Friday night. The video at the strip club, filmed sometime after the game, prompted the investigation by the Glendale police.
Morant released a statement through his agent on Saturday announcing that he was taking "some time away" from basketball.
“I take full responsibility for my actions last night. I’m sorry to my family, teammates, coaches, fans, partners, the city of Memphis and the entire Grizzlies organization for letting you down," Morant's statement reads. “I’m going to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
The NBA acknowledged the same day that it's conducting its own investigation.
Morant posted the video days after a Washington Post story published allegations that Morant repeatedly punched a 17-year-old boy during a pickup basketball game at his Memphis home. According to police reports, the alleged victim said that Morant, 23, went inside his house and returned with a gun tucked into his pants after the attack.
The Post story also details an allegation that Morant threatened a security worker at a Memphis mall last summer. Per a Memphis police report cited in the story, Morant's mother got into a confrontation with an employee at a Finish Line store at the mall. She then called Morant, who showed up with several of his friends, according to the report.
The security worker told Morant and his friends to leave the mall parking lot, per the report. The security worker told police that one of Morant's friends then shoved him in the head and that Morant said, "Let me find out what time he gets off" as they left the property.
The Post story was published weeks after Morant's friends were accused of training a red laser pointer at members of the Indiana Pacers staff following a contentious Pacers-Grizzlies game in Memphis. Pacers security believed that the laser was attached to a gun.
“We felt we were in grave danger,” a person involved told The Athletic anonymously.
Morant and his lawyers have largely denied the details of the allegations regarding guns.
Morant's absence arrives as the Grizzlies are competing near the top of the Western Conference. Memphis entered Wednesday tied with the Kings for second place in the West, 7.5 games behind the first-place Nuggets.
A two-time All-Star and one of the league's brightest young stars, Morant is averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists and six rebounds this season. An extended absence would deal a crippling blow to the Grizzlies' hopes of advancing through a competitive Western Conference playoffs.