NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league has “uncovered a fair amount of additional information” in relation to Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant and a video which surfaced on social media in May appearing to show him flashing a gun while in a vehicle with others.
Silver went onto to explain that an announcement of a potential suspension for Morant will be announced after the NBA Finals concludes.
While speaking to reporters before the tip-off of Game 1 of the NBA Finals in Denver on Thursday, Silver said it would be “unfair” to announce the results of the investigation during the series.
“In terms of the timing, we’ve uncovered a fair amount of additional information I think since I was still asked about the situation,” Silver said.
“I would say we probably could’ve brought it to a head now but we made the decision and I believe the players association agrees with us that it would be unfair to these players and these teams in the middle of this series to announce the results of that investigation and given that we are of course in the offseason, he is now been suspended by the Memphis Grizzlies indefinitely so nothing would have changed anyway in the next few weeks.”
In May, Morant was suspended from team activities after an Instagram Live video appeared to show him flashing a gun while in a vehicle, just two months after the athlete was suspended over a similar video.
It is not known when or where the more recently surfaced video was filmed.
“It seemed better to park that at the moment at least any public announcement and my sense now is that shortly after the conclusion of the Finals we will announce the outcome of that investigation,” Silver added.
Shortly after the second incident, Silver told ESPN that he was “stunned” to see the video and was “assuming the worst.”
On Thursday, Silver reiterated that the league looked into many factors in assessing potential punishment.
“In assessing what discipline is appropriate if that’s the case, we look at both the history of prior acts and then we look at the individual players’ history as well - and the seriousness of course of the conduct,” Silver said.
“Those are all things that get factored in. It’s not an exact science to judgment at the end of the day on the part of me and my colleagues in the league office.”
When asked if he felt the initial suspension was “taking it too lightly” on Morant, Silver said at the time, the eight-game suspension seemed “very serious.”
“The conversation we had … felt very heartfelt and serious but I think he understood that it wasn’t about his words but it was going to be about his future conduct,” Silver said.
“So, I guess in hindsight I don’t know. If it had been a 12-game suspension instead of an eight-game suspension would that have mattered? I don’t know. … It seemed appropriate at the time. That’s all I can say.
“I don’t think we yet know what it will take to change his behavior. Same thing I said at the time, he seems to be a fine young man. In terms of my dealings with him,
“I think he’s clearly made some mistakes but he’s young and I’m hoping now that once we conclude at the end of our process, what the appropriate discipline is, that it’s not just about the discipline, it’s about now what we, the players association, his team, and he and the people around him are going to do to create better circumstances going forward. That’s ultimately what’s most important here.”
Last month, authorities performed a wellness check at the 23-year-old’s home after Morant, according to multiple published reports, posted and then deleted messages to his Instagram Stories telling various family members he loved them before writing “bye.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office told CNN at the time: “Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies checked on Ja Morant at his residence this morning and he is fine. He advised us that he is taking a break from social media.”
The earliest the best-of-seven NBA Finals could finish is June 9 but the latest could be June 18 if Game 7 is required.