The NBA needs to check on Ja Morant during his absence

The 2023-24 NBA season has come to a premature end for Ja Morant, leaving him with very little to show for it. The young Memphis Grizzlies star began the season with a 25-game suspension for inappropriate use of a firearm on social media. After serving his suspension, Morant played only nine games before suffering a shoulder injury that will keep him out for the remainder of the season. It’s been a disappointing and frustrating season for Morant, who had high hopes and expectations.

The Grizzlies, who have struggled this season, should use this opportunity to evaluate their roster and make necessary changes. One suggestion is to trade their 2024 lottery pick in order to acquire additional talent that can support Morant when he returns next season. Basketball decisions can be relatively straightforward, but ensuring Morant’s mental and emotional well-being during his recovery will require more thought and effort.

Morant has previously spoken about his struggles with dealing with his feelings, particularly during the challenging experience of being in the NBA bubble in 2020. It’s crucial for the NBA and the Grizzlies to prioritize Morant’s mental health during this time. Commissioner Adam Silver has expressed concerns about players’ mental health in the past, and it’s essential that the league follows through on its commitment to support Morant.

While a program has been put in place to help Morant, it’s important to recognize that mental health is an ongoing process that requires continuous support. Morant needs to feel comfortable speaking up when he’s feeling down, and the NBA and the Grizzlies should provide him with the resources and support necessary to do so.

Unfortunately, Morant’s season-ending injury adds another layer of isolation and frustration for him. After everything he went through last season, including a civil case regarding an alleged assault, Morant deserves all the support he can get. Loneliness can be detrimental to one’s mental health, and it’s crucial for the league and the team to ensure that Morant doesn’t feel alone during his recovery.

Overall, the 2023-24 NBA season has been a difficult one for Ja Morant. However, it presents an opportunity for the NBA and the Grizzlies to prioritize his well-being and provide him with the support he needs to come back stronger next season. By addressing his mental health and surrounding him with a supportive team, Morant can overcome these challenges and continue to shine on the basketball court.

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