Ja Morant ‘frustrated’ by Memphis Grizzlies fans asking him to ‘sit back out’ on return to action | NBA News

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant suffered a double disappointment upon his return to the NBA against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

His team, which earlier this month set an NBA record for margin of victory in a 152-79 Thunder thrashing earlier this month, suffered a defeat, but more than that, the star of the franchise is was dismayed by the reaction of some fans, who asked him to “sit back”.

Morant, who was returning from injury and the league’s COVID-19 protocols after a 12-game absence, finished with 16 points, six rebounds and eight assists in 28 minutes.

Not a bad score in the box, and as he is the team’s top scorer with 24.1 points per game, hearing such remarks was painful for the 22-year-old as he tried to put his injury problems behind him.

Morant said: “It’s frustrating for me to watch this team while I was out and the kind of basketball they were playing.

“We beat this team by 73, and then we lose the day I get back to this team. It’s frustrating. I was already in my head coming back and I trusted my knee after missing 12 games. Basketball is my escape, I feel. at my best when I play, so it’s really frustrating.

“Even during the game, I was running down the pitch and I heard some of my fans on the sidelines telling me I had to sit down again. So, I don’t understand what they wanted to get out of that. I feel like that just makes things worse.”

Critics will argue that the Grizzlies are 10-2 without him in the lineup and only 9-11 with him and point to the fact that Memphis set franchise records for bench points (93) and field goals scored (60) in the previous clash. with thunder.

But all of that ignores the fact that Morant, who also left Twitter after the game, is the superstar-level talent capable of elevating a franchise like Memphis from mediocrity to potential contention.

And the fact that he’s a young player in his third year in the league, who has already brought Memphis back to the playoffs after beating Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors in a play-in game.

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A candidate for Ja Morant’s first dunk of the year, with this massive alley-oop slam of the first week!

In his post-match interview, it was clear that the young man was struck by the fickle reaction of some who attended the FedExForum on Monday night.

Morant, as reported by Drew Hill of the Daily Memphian, said: “That’s a lot, man. I’m thrilled to be back and I’m grateful to my teammates because they tried to keep me up and told me not to.” worry about what people say, but it’s hard not to see that stuff.

“I mean, it’s easy when I see it, but when I run out onto the pitch in the middle of the game and hear it from the people singing ‘MVP’ a while ago, it’s frustrating.

“I’m just frustrated. Normally – you’ve all seen it – when someone says something negative about me, it feeds me. But, tonight, fan comments really hurt. I’ll do what I normally do and recover and I’m very excited. for the next game “.

But Morant’s teammates know, apart from the dunks, the hat-tricks and the precise passes, how precious he is.

Desmond Bane, who has been the main beacon for the Grizzlies in his absence, has said that any suggestion that the Grizzlies are better without Morant is “nonsense”.

He said, “We know what kind of player Ja is, and I think everyone knows what kind of player he is. An All-Star. He hasn’t played in a month. Kick someone out without being out there for a month., And it won’t be them. themselves. And he played well! “

Bane went on to say that the idea that the Grizzlies could be better without Ja is “nonsense” and that Ja is being targeted for being a star and an easy target.

“He’ll stay in Memphis as long as he wants. It’s his franchise.”

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