Ja Morant addresses 8-game suspension; calls stress management an ‘ongoing process’

Ja Morant is getting ready for his return to action after missing the last nine Memphis Grizzlies games due to his off-court issues.

The superstar guard was suspended eight games by his team and the NBA due to a social media post where he live-streamed himself holding what appeared to be a gun at a nightclub in Denver on March 4.

Morant spent 11 days in a Florida counseling facility in order to find ways to deal with stress and control his off-court issues, which caused a lot of negative attention over the last few weeks.

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“Obviously took that time to better myself, get in a better space mentally,” Ja Morant told media Tuesday, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“It’s an ongoing process, a continued process for me. Obviously, I’ve been there for two weeks, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely better. So that’s an ongoing process for me that I’ve still been continuing since I’ve come out.”

The All-Star guard made it clear that he has no alcohol problems, but managing stress has been his main concern so far.

“I don’t have an alcohol problem, never had an alcohol problem,” Ja Morant said. “I went [to Florida] for counseling to learn how to manage stress, cope with stress in a positive way instead of ways I’ve tried to deal with it before that caused me to make mistakes.”

The Grizzlies expect Ja Morant to make his return during the two-game home series with the Houston Rockets this week. It is very likely he will be on minutes restriction as he has been out since early March.

Morant has told the Memphis coaching staff that he is willing to come off the bench until he fully returns to form. The Grizzlies, who are second in the West standings with a 44-27 record, have won three in a row and went 6-3 in the nine games that Morant missed.

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