Ja Morant Says He Doesn't Have Alcohol Problem After Return From Suspension
Ja Morant I Don't Have An Alcohol Problem ... First Interview Since Rejoining Team
3/21/2023 3:18 PM PT
Ja Morant is adamantly denying he has a drinking problem after the NBA concluded he was intoxicated when he flashed a gun on Instagram earlier this month ... telling reporters alcohol was NOT the reason he entered a counseling program.
Morant spoke publicly for the first time since rejoining the Grizzlies this week -- and the Memphis superstar was asked if alcohol played a role in his decision-making that ultimately led to his eight-game suspension.
"Never had an alcohol problem," Morant said. "I didn't go there for alcohol. I went there for counseling. To learn how to manage stress and cope with stress in a positive way, instead of ways how I tried to deal with it before that caused me to make mistakes."
"[The] only problem with me right now is just getting into a space mentally that I'm very comfortable in and I feel good at. That's why I made the decision to take time away and go to counseling. That helped me learn a lot of things."
Ja said he contemplated stepping away from the NBA before he was engulfed in drama ... admitting he was afraid to leave the team. But the two-time All-Star says he's glad he made the decision to address his mental health.
Morant -- who was on the bench for Memphis on Monday, but didn't play in the game against the Mavs -- said now that he's back around his teammates, he's focused on improving himself and working toward getting back out there on the court.
Ja Morant is back on the Grizzlies bench, let's watch some basketball pic.twitter.com/z8IDXjXkWF— eric (@EricTweetsNBA) March 21, 2023 @EricTweetsNBA
Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters Tuesday he anticipates Morant will play Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets -- but the 23-year-old phenom described his status as "still in the air."