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Ja Morant checks into counseling program, no timetable to rejoin team

Ja Morant checks into counseling program, no timetable to rejoin team

On Monday night, Ja Morant missed his fifth-straight game since stepping away from the Memphis Grizzlies to seek help following some concerning off-court incidents. 

Morant has checked himself into a counseling program in Florida and there's currently no timetable for him to return to the Grizzlies, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday evening.

In a statement, Morant said that he's away from the team to "get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being."

The NBA is investigating Morant's antics, which culminated in the All-Star flashing a gun on his Instagram live feed while partying in a Colorado strip club on March 4.

Prior to that incident, there was an offseason altercation between Morant and a 17-year-old, which led to a civil lawsuit. The teenager alleges that Morant and his friend, Davonte Pack, assaulted him.

Pack was recently banned from the Grizzlies' home games for one year after the NBA investigated claims that a laser was pointed at members of the Indiana Pacers following their game in Memphis on Jan. 29. A Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun, according to The Athletic. However, following the NBA's investigation, the league said they "found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon."

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins recently revealed that members of the organization tried getting through to Morant about his off-court antics prior to the gun incident. 

“We have had conversations in the past trying to guide him and help him continue to evolve as a person and a player,” Jenkins said, per The Associated Press. “Obviously, this came to a head the other day, so we put this process into action.”

Even with Morant away from the team, Memphis has won three-straight games. The Grizzlies are 3-2 overall since Morant stepped away. On the season, Memphis is 41-26, which is the second-best record in the Western Conference.

Morant is one of the most electrifying, popular players in the NBA, averaging 27.1 points, 8.2 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals, while shooting 46.3% from the field, 31.6% from three-point range and 74.4% from the free-throw line.

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