Ja Morant Suffers Season-Ending Injury ... 'Damn Dawg'

Ja Morant was a man of few words after learning his 2023-24 season was over ... going to social media to express his frustrations by simply saying, "Damn dawg."

The Memphis Grizzlies broke the news Monday night ... saying their superstar guard suffered a partial dislocation of his right shoulder during Saturday's training session.

The team said Morant continued to experience soreness and instability in the following days ... so he underwent an MRI, which revealed an underlying labral tear.

The ailment brings Morant's revenge tour to a screeching halt ... as he was out to make up for time lost after missing the first chunk of the season due to his gun-related suspension.

As we previously reported, Morant was quick to make sure his haters knew he heard all the talk in his first game back ... yelling he "kept receipts" after nailing the game-winning bucket against the New Orleans Pelicans last month.

Ja -- who missed Sunday's matchup against the Phoenix Suns -- was understandably bummed about his season being over ... also sending out a blue heart and posting "just waiting for the sun to come out..." later Monday night.

24-year-old Morant had been playing well so far this season ... averaging 25 points, 5.6 rebounds and 8 assists in 9 appearances.

Ja Morant Hits Apparent Gun Celebration ... In Win Over Pelicans

Ja Morant's barely been back on the NBA hardwood for a week, but he's already found himself mired in a bit of controversy again -- this time after he hit a celebration that appeared to feature imaginary guns.

The Grizzlies point guard pulled out the celly Tuesday night after he helped give Memphis an insurmountable lead over the Pelicans in overtime of their game in New Orleans.

The 24-year-old -- who just came back from a 25-game ban for a string of incidents involving gun-related social media videos last week -- seemed to turn his hands into the shape of pistols after throwing down a thunderous alley-oop dunk, before he appeared to spray the road crowd with fake bullets.

The gestures only lasted a few seconds, before Morant returned to defense to finish off the game -- but basketball fans were still critical of the moves nonetheless.

Several roasted him as "tone deaf" -- particularly after he had just returned from his suspension on Dec. 19.

Of course, it's entirely possible Morant was not mimicking firing guns and was instead just simply hitting a dance -- but the hooper has yet to publicly address it all.

Morant has been a complete superstar outside of the incident vs. the Pelicans since he was reinserted into Memphis' lineup -- leading the Grizzlies to four straight wins while earning Western Conference player of the week honors.

Ja Morant Hits Game-Winner Vs. Pelicans ... Returns From Suspension With A Bang

After 235 days away from the NBA hardwood, Ja Morant apparently still knows his way around the hoop -- scoring the winning shot in his first game back!!

The Grizzlies superstar had been barred from the court to start this season while serving a 25-game suspension for a string of incidents involving gun-related social media videos ... but in his return against the Pelicans on Tuesday night, his presence was felt right away.

He logged 34 points and 8 assists on the road game in New Orleans -- but, most importantly, he nailed a floater in the lane with no time left in regulation to win the game for Memphis, 115-113.

And, afterward, he had a big-time message for his haters ... saying simply as he ran into the locker room, "I kept receipts!"

Morant, of course, had developed a bevy of critics after he was seen on social media waving around a gun not once, but twice. He had also been accused last year of attacking a teenager during a pickup game at his home. It all eventually led to NBA commish Adam Silver sidelining him.

But, Morant took all the steps the NBA and the Grizzlies required for him to rejoin the team ... and after his big night against the Pels, he said there were certainly some low points while he was away from his teammates.

"I haven't played a game in eight months," he said. "I had a lot of time to learn myself, a lot of hard days where I went through it. But, you know, basketball is my life, what I love. It’s therapeutic for me and I'm just excited to be back."

Seems the Grizzlies -- and the NBA world too, for that matter -- are as well, Ja.

Ja Morant Testifies He Punched Teen In Self-Defense ... Demonstrates Check Ball

Ja Morant had a busy day in court Monday ... testifying that he punched a teen during an altercation at his home last year in self-defense -- while also demonstrating to an attorney how to check a ball in a pickup basketball game.

The Memphis Grizzlies superstar did it all before a judge in Tennessee ... as part of Joshua Holloway's civil case against him.

Holloway claims in the lawsuit that Morant assaulted him while the two were hoopin' at the NBA player's Shelby County residence in July 2022 ... though Morant and his attorneys say the suit should be dismissed, claiming Ja was simply attempting to protect himself during the incident.

At one point during Monday's proceedings, Morant told Holloway's attorney he was physically "hurt" when the teenager threw a ball at his face during a check situation.

Morant said in the courtroom that he asked Holloway, "What you on?" after the teen heaved the ball -- and then he claimed Holloway pulled up his shorts.

"Him pulling up his shorts," Morant testified, "where I'm from, that's a fighting stance."

Morant claimed Holloway then took a step at him -- and that's when the NBA player fired off a punch.

"I hit him first," Morant said, "to protect myself."

Morant was also seen in the courtroom showing a lawyer how a normal check-ball situation is supposed to go down.

Morant's dad, Tee, spoke as well from the stand during the hearing -- and it's anticipated he'll continue testimony Tuesday.

The proceedings, meanwhile, are slated to go through at least Wednesday -- and if it's ultimately deemed Morant was, indeed, acting in self-defense, the case could be dismissed. However, if it's not, a trial could be slated to begin in April.

Morant, meanwhile, remains away from the NBA hardwood for at least another few days -- as he's still serving a 25-game suspension for being seen in another gun-related social media video back in the spring.

Ja Morant's Daughter Shows Off Hoop Skills, Trash Talk ... In Adorable Video


With the 1st pick in the 2040 WNBA Draft, [team name here] selects Kaari Morant! 😊

Ja Morant's 4-year-old daughter showed the apple doesn't fall far from the tree ... the NBA superstar's baby, Kaari, showed off her hoops skills in a 1-on-1 matchup against her mom, Kadre -- and it's adorable!

Kadre shared the video on social media, despite being scored on (sometimes the offense is just that good!), showing Kaari driving to the left, with handles that'd make dad proud, before knocking down the lefty layup, as mom could just stand there and watch.

Kaari was clearly impressed with her work on the court ... and she let everyone know about it, yelling, "You see the guns?! You see the guns?!" as she flexed.

Kadre -- who gave birth to Kaari in 2019 -- captioned the video with a question ... how does her daughter already have A+ trash talk?!

Ja's sister, high school hooper Niya, took the credit, saying her niece got it from her.

"Deflee got it from her tt," Niya said, "but whateva 🙄😂😂😂😂."

It seems hooping runs in the family (and some trash-talking, too) ... and thankfully for NBA fans, Morant is gearing up to return later this month when his 25-game suspension ends.

Ja will be eligible on Dec. 19, and the 5-14 Grizzlies desperately need him.

Like father, like daughter!

Luka Doncic Wild Trick Shot In Pregame Warmups ... Heady Play!!!


Luka Doncic can apparently sink baskets with his hands AND his head ... 'cause check out this trick shot he made Monday night -- he used his noggin and got nothing but net!!

The Dallas superstar and his teammate, Dwight Powell, were messin' around before the Mavs took on the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum in Memphis ... when they decided to put on a little show for the fans in attendance.

First, Powell threw a basketball off Doncic's shoulder ... and then he headed it back to Doncic so the point guard could finish off the Globetrotters-esque play with a header of his own.

And, after the ball crashed through the hoop ... the crowd roared, and Doncic celebrated for several moments as if he had just hit a game-winner!

Doncic then tagged Real Madrid -- the football club affiliated with his former basketball team -- clearly wanting them to take a look at his soccer skills.

Of course, this isn't anything too new for Powell and Doncic ... the guys have hit similar shots in the past, including one time last year when Powell threw down a dunk courtesy of a pass off Doncic's dome.

The antics have apparently translated into good performances for the guys ... as Doncic went off in the win over the Grizzlies on Monday, logging 35 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds.

Ja Morant Returns To Grizzlies Practice ... First Since Suspension

Ja Morant got back to business on Tuesday -- the NBA superstar participated in practice with the Memphis Grizzlies ... one day after it was announced he would be allowed to be with the team as he serves out his suspension.

Despite being hit with a 25-game ban for his second gun-related social media video in June, the NBA is allowing Morant to travel and work out with the Grizz as he prepares for his return.

Ja was out on the court with his teammates earlier in the day ... and media members got footage of him putting up shots.

"It’s great to have him here," Grizzlies president and general manager Zach Kleiman said.

Instagram / @_dtap2

"I think he’s put himself in a position where there’s no reason why he can’t keep following through on this. So we’re glad he’s here and can’t wait to have him back."

His teammates are happy as well ... including Derrick Rose, who told reporters he connected with Morant in the offseason.

"Talked to him a little bit," Rose said. "Just told him I'm not here to babysit you. I'm not here to follow you around, I'm not here to cheerlead. I'm here to push you."


Morant -- who's averaged 22.4 points and 7.4 assists in his four-year NBA career -- won't be able to return to the court until December 19 against the Pelicans.

Zach Randolph Advising Ja After Gun Vid Incidents ... 'He'll Bounce Back'


Grizzlies legend Zach Randolph is confident Ja Morant will bounce back from his off-court issues ... telling TMZ Sports he's been sharing advice with the young NBA star following his 25-game suspension.

Memphis will be without its face of the franchise for the first chunk of the upcoming season as a result of his second gun-related social media post that surfaced back in May ... but Z-Bo says it's just a bump in the road for the two-time All-Star -- revealing what he's been telling Morant in their conversations.


"Man, I just tell him, Ja, you're lil bro," Randolph said at LAX. "We all been through some stuff. If it was social media like it was when I was playing, I'd be in some stuff, too."

"You gon' be all right," he added. "You just go through growing pains, and you be resilient and you bounce back."

"That's what he is. He'll bounce back."

Instagram / @_dtap2

24-year-old Ja initially faced criticism for flashing a gun at a strip club back in March ... resulting in an 8-game ban.

Despite his claims -- and alleged video proof -- that the weapon shown in the second video was actually a lighter, the league elected to hand down his current lengthy punishment.


We also talked to Z-Bo about LeBron James recruiting the NBA's biggest American stars for the 2024 Olympic Games ... as well as his successful venture into the Memphis rap scene.

Ja Morant Surprises Kids In Memphis w/ Nike Kicks, Hoop Sesh

Ja Morant's been laying low, but the Grizzlies superstar just made a rare appearance, surprising a bunch of kids at a Memphis basketball court ... hooking everyone up with his signature Nike kicks during hoop sesh!

24-year-old Morant, who will serve a 25-game suspension to start the season, along with Nike held the "Only Basketball" event this week ... and as you'd expect, the kids were super hyped when the 2x All-Star pulled up to the gym.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

And, not only did Morant ball out with the youngsters (including throwing down a massive dunk) ... he also gifted the young athletes his Ja 1s, along with other athletic gear.

Morant even offered some advice to the kids, encouraging them to stay focused on the game and stay away from the outside noise.

"Believe in yourself," Morant said. "You know have confidence in yourself."

"There's going to be a lot of outside stuff that can distract you from your ultimate goal. Just stay locked in, tune it out, and stay true to yourself."

BTW, the new "Chimney" colorway for the Ja 1 Nike's were revealed this week ... and they feature his iconic phrase, "We ain't ducking no smoke" on the side. They'll drop later this year.

Morant has been virtually nonexistent this off-season ... laying low after the controversy from his second gun video rocked the NBA.

Instagram / @_dtap2

Of course, Ja flashed a gun on his friend's Instagram Live (just two months after the first incident with a handgun in a Denver-area strip club in March) ... resulting in the 25-game ban.

Despite all the backlash Morant received, Nike decided to stick with the young star ... and so far, it seems to be panning out for both.

Ja Morant Gets New Tattoos ... Two Kobe Bryant Tributes

Ja Morant just ensured he'll take the Mamba Mentality wherever he goes forever now ... 'cause the NBA superstar just got a massive new back tattoo, featuring two Kobe Bryant tributes.

The Memphis Grizzlies point guard hit up Andres Ortega and his Onder Ink team to get the new tats ... and on Saturday, the artist flew to Miami to put the work down.

Ortega tells TMZ Sports ... Morant sat for 10 hours total -- while he and his team placed artwork all over the basketball player's back and torso.

The pieces came out great ... and there's now nods to the 23-year-old's life and hoops career all over his body.

On his back, Morant got the logos of his high school, college and NBA teams ... as well as his Nike logo and his jersey No. 12. He also got four aces, some dice, and the words "Life's a gamble."

In the Kobe portion of the ink, he got the Lakers legend's famous logo -- as well as his old No. 24 jersey number.

On his chest and stomach, Morant got his birth year, an eye, some doves, some crosses and a 100 emoji.

Ortega says Morant was chill and cool throughout the whole process ... and afterward, Morant was so thrilled with the pieces -- he signed some autographs while flashing a huge grin.

Drake Cancels Memphis Tour Date FedExForum Can't Handle My Stage!!!

Drake and 21 Savage will no longer be hitting Memphis as part of their "It's All a Blur" Tour ... the date has been officially canceled after being postponed.

Ticketmaster delivered the unfortunate news for Memphis residents who had been patiently waiting to see Drake on Tuesday ... incensing several on social media as word spread around town.

A statement posted by the venue reads ... "Due to the magnitude of the production of the Drake concert, it is logistically impossible to bring the show as designed to the FedExForum on August 6th."

The tour has featured a dazzling array of gigantic stage props including huge sperm cells and a giant-sized Virgil Abloh while the FedExForum can seat around 19k people ... but the marriage wasn't meant to be this time around.

Instagram / @mklowery

To add insult to fans' injuries, Drake received the key to the city of Memphis back in June amid the first concert's delay -- and many feel he should return the thing if he's not gonna perform.

Tough break ... fans will just have to do a bit of traveling if they want to catch the show!!!

Gilbert Arenas Slams NBA For Ja Morant Punishment ... 'It's Too Harsh!'


Gilbert Arenas says Ja Morant's NBA punishment does not fit the crime ... insisting the 25-game ban that Adam Silver hit him with earlier this month is complete BS.

The former Wizards star took aim at the Association in a passionate conversation with TMZ Sports earlier this week ... explaining he believes Ja's suspension for wielding yet another firearm on video should have been significantly less than what it ultimately ended up being.

"It's too harsh," Arenas said bluntly.

Instagram / @_dtap2

As for why ... he said he thinks it was all based on subjectivity -- not precedence.

Arenas told us ... most guys that he's seen get popped by the league in the past for gun-related offenses have only received 1 to 7-game bans -- making Morant's lengthy suspension super unfair.

"It's public perception," Arenas said. "The public wants him to be stopped. So, now the NBA comes in and says, 'All right, we have to make it look reasonable.'"

Arenas said Morant already suffered greatly off the court -- something he believes Silver should've factored into his punishment.

"He's already taken Ls," Arenas said, noting the small breaks that Nike and Powerade took from Morant. "He's taken Ls on his public image."

Arenas told us he thinks it's all so unfair, he expects Ja to appeal ... and win.

Of course, Gilbert has plenty of experience in this field -- you'll recall, he ultimately lost 50 games of his career following his infamous 2009 gun incident.

He said he's actually down to help Ja learn everything that he gained from that big ban ... telling us if Morant reached out, he'd definitely answer.

For the Memphis star's part, he apologized for his actions that led to Silver's decision ... saying to his fans, "I hope you'll give me the chance to prove to you over time I'm a better man than what I've been showing you."

We also talked to the former NBA star about the incoming rookies. Arenas offers advice to the young hoopers ... and gives his scouting report on Victor Wembanyama.


After his 12 seasons in the NBA, Gil has pivoted to being a media personality in retirement, talking all things hoops on his "Gil's Arena" podcast on the Underdog Fantasy Content Network.

Marcus Smart Pens Emotional Letter To Fans ... After Trade To Grizzlies

Marcus Smart is proving goodbyes aren't easy ... the newly traded NBA star just penned an emotional letter to Boston fans after the organization traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies.

"Where do I even begin...as I start to think about the last 9 years I have a lot of emotions running thru me," the 29-year-old wrote Friday on Instagram. "Boston, you are a very special place to me."

The 2021-2022 Defensive Player of the Year was part of a three-team blockbuster trade on Wednesday, involving the Celtics, Grizzlies, and Wizards ... and Smart, who spent his entire 9-year career in Beantown, was sent to Memphis.

Kristaps Porzingis was shipped to the Celtics and Tyus Jones is headed to Washington.

"I grew up here and met some of my best friends here," Smart said. "I'll never forget my time here."

"Ultimately we didn't get that 18th banner but I'm VERY VERY proud of the success we had."

It wasn't just an emotional send-off for Smart ... as many Celtics fans were dismayed over the trade, and expressed their frustrations on social media.

"Marcus Smart has been my favorite player since he was drafted in 2014, and Boston made the playoffs every year since," a fan said on Twitter after the trade. "Regardless of return, I’m very disappointed."

Another fan tweeted, "I am literally dead inside. Not Marcus Smart. There’s no way we traded Marcus Smart. I refuse to believe it."

Unfortunately for Celtics fans, the trade's real ... and now Smart gets a fresh start in Bluff City.

"Let's get to work. 💪🏾"

Grizzlies GM Ja Morant Suspension 'Appropriate' ... Must Take 'Serious Steps'

Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman says he feels Ja Morant's 25-game suspension was "appropriate" ... telling reporters the face of the franchise needs to make some major changes during his time away from the team.

Kleiman answered several questions about the All-Star guard's punishment following Thursday's NBA Draft ... and while he claimed the two sides maintain a solid relationship, he made it clear the organization is "disappointed" in his recent actions.

"I think the discipline from the NBA was appropriate," Kleiman said.

Instagram / @_dtap2

"I think the thing to focus on at this point is ... what's Ja going to commit to moving forward? What are the steps that he's prepared to take for the NBA to grant the ability to rejoin the team after serving the suspension?"

The 23-year-old was hit with the ban after he flashed what appeared to be a gun for the second time in two months ... which, according to video obtained by TMZ Sports, he claimed was actually a lighter.


The National Basketball Players' Association ripped the suspension shortly after it was announced last week ... calling it "excessive and inappropriate."

But, Kleiman believes the league made the right call ... and the team has had good conversations with its star player about what he needs to do in order to get back on the court.


"I think there's a lot of healthy dialogue there," he added. "I think everyone did acknowledge early on that this was going to be ongoing and Ja wasn't just going to become the best version of himself overnight. I think there's many really serious steps that he needs to continue to take."


Ja apologized for the second gun video after the NBA's decision was handed down ... and he vowed to be a better role model to his fans.

Kleiman added the team has "high expectations" for holding Ja accountable moving forward ... and the hooper's remorse only goes so far, as he'll have to back up his words with his actions.

Ja Morant Video Shows NBA Star With Toy Gun ... Day After 2nd Firearm-Waving Incident


Ja Morant filmed himself holding a toy gun back on May 14 in an effort to show his family and friends that he did not have a real firearm during his now-infamous Instagram Live sesh ... and TMZ Sports has just obtained the footage.

In the video, you can see Morant -- easily identified by his unique tattoos -- attempting to show the weapon was nothing more than a lighter.

Morant used the flames that came out of the phony gun to ignite some candles ... before he appeared to say in the clip, "You hold it, and everything comes out."

We're told Ja sent the video around to those close to him after they had questioned why he was seen brandishing a firearm in a social media video yet again.

You'll recall, Ja was initially suspended for the act in March ... though on May 13, he was filmed doing it once more while listening to NBA YoungBoy's album with a pal in a car.

Instagram / @_dtap2

Ja never publicly stated the gun was not a real one ... though Claudia Jordan said on "The Breakfast Club" earlier this month that some inside of the Grizzlies guard's camp had informed her it was fake.

Either way, Adam Silver punished Morant over it all regardless ... hitting him with a 25-game suspension on Friday morning.

Following news of the ban, Morant apologized ... and vowed to be "a better man than what I've been showing you."

Meanwhile, we reached out to Morant for comment on the new video -- but so far, we've yet to hear back.

Nike We're Still Backing Ja Morant ... Despite Second Gun Video, 25-Game Ban

A second gun video and yet another suspension won't cost Ja Morant his deal with Nike after all ... the Swoosh just announced it's still backing the NBA superstar.

In a statement released just minutes after Adam Silver banned Morant 25 games for waving a firearm on Instagram Live for the second time this year ... Nike announced it will not be severing its ties with the Grizzlies hooper.

"We are pleased that Ja is taking accountability and prioritizing his well-being," the shoe giant said. "We will continue to support him on and off the court."

For a while following the second gun video, it appeared the relationship was in jeopardy ... as the co. had wiped all of his signature athletic shoes from its app and website. But now, it's clear -- the two are moving forward in lockstep.

Of course, Ja has had a relationship with Nike dating back to 2019 ... and he's become one of the faces of the company -- releasing his first-ever Ja 1 shoe a few months back.

It all clearly makes a ton of dollars and sense for both sides regardless ... as even with all of the controversy surrounding him, Morant's Ja 1 "Hunger" colorway drop sold out in a matter of minutes back in late May.

Morant's yet to comment on the support from Nike ... but he did say in a statement Friday he  was going to work like hell to be "a better man than what I've been showing you."

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