Ja Morant rejoined the Memphis Grizzlies at practice on Tuesday after his suspension, and he admitted he was a bit uncomfortable. After the practice, Morant had his first media availability with the wide press, and he ensured everyone knew that he did not have a drinking problem.

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“I don’t got an alcohol problem, never had an alcohol problem,” Morant opened. “I didn’t go there for alcohol, I went there for counseling.”

Morant combatted the fact that he was said to be under the influence of alcohol by responding: “I went there to learn how to manage stress, cope with stress in a positive way instead of ways that I dealt with it before that caused mistakes.”


Shortly after announcing his suspension, Morant sat down with ESPN and Jalen Rose for a candid interview.

When asked about the gun incident in the strip club, Morant said that the gun was not his and he doesn’t condone any violence. “The gun wasn’t mine. It’s not who I am. I don’t condone any type of violence, but I’ve taken responsibility for my actions. But in the future, I’m going to show everybody who Ja really is, what I’m about, and change this narrative that everybody got.”

Ja added: “Obviously, he said things I need to be better at, but more of just showing his support towards me. I accepted that, and I also sent my apologies to everybody—to the league, myself, my teammates, my family for putting that negativity towards all of us with a bad decision.”

Morant went on to continue to apologize for his recent actions. “I used that as an escape, which I shouldn’t have. I feel like that’s the reason I made many bad decisions in my past, which doesn’t pretty much describe me, doesn’t describe Ja as a person. I’m a totally different person than what’s been shown in the media. That’s my job now. That’s why I took that time away, to become a better Ja, so everybody really can see who Ja really is and you know what he’s about.”

You can watch the interview here.

Dylan Kemp contributed to this story.