The face of the Memphis Grizzlies franchise, Ja Morant, seems to be under the spotlight more often than others in recent months. A couple of months ago, Ja was accused of punching a 17-year-old after a pickup basketball game took a drastic turn. If that wasn’t enough, he was also reported to have threatened a mall’s security guard.
These allegations have not been proven, but there has been plenty of backlash that Ja has had to face in the meantime. In March, Morant flashed a gun at a Denver-based st*ip club after losing to the Denver Nuggets. He was suspended by the NBA for 8 games and eventually stated that he would learn his lesson. That has not been the case, however.
Ja Morant was allegedly seen showing off a gun on IG Live yesterday 😳 pic.twitter.com/fdhjBbIn9c
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) May 14, 2023
Once again, Morant flashed a gun while listening to music in a car. His childhood friend, Davonte Pack, was on Instagram Live when fans were quick to spot what was in Ja’s hand. The image quickly made waves on the internet, and Ja was suspended for the second time for the same reason. This has also put his deal with Nike in jeopardy.
Will Nike cut ties with Ja Morant?
Nike has not released a statement on the matter until now. The only time a spokesperson addressed Ja’s controversies would be when he admitted to wrongdoing the first time. Since then, it has been pretty quiet on Nike’s side. However, Ja’s $12 million deal with Nike may well and truly be at stake, as the brand has reportedly undertaken some serious steps in the last few hours.
Ja Morant’s “Hunger Ja 1” sneakers are no longer listed on the Nike or Finish Line apps which were expected to be released on May 25th 😳 pic.twitter.com/fRsneLLUwp
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) May 18, 2023
Multiple sources claim that one of the models for Ja’s signature shoe, the ‘Nike Ja Hunger 1,’ has been officially pulled from Nike’s website. The reason for this has not been stated until now. Nike signed Ja to a signature deal back in December 2019, after signing on the dotted line for a deal in 2019. This came right after Nike cut ties with superstar Kyrie Irving.
Many have claimed that the American brand aimed to replace Kyrie with Ja, but that has not gone according to plan until now. However, although Ja’s signature line has not been as successful as how Kyrie’s was, the former still holds the ground impressively. During the 2023 All-Star weekend, Nike unveiled a pop-up store made out of ice.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed that he did not expect what Ja did, and also admitted that he is assuming the worst for the player. The NBA is currently holding investigations and the consequence for Morant will be revealed in the near future.