After lambasting Ja Morant’s erratic behavior in recent months, Shannon Sharpe now wants to help by sitting down with the Memphis Grizzlies superstar.
Wednesday morning, Morant posted and deleted a series of cryptic messages to his Instagram Story. Screenshots of the post show Morant sharing family photos of his sister, mother, father and daughter before offering the message, “bye.”
Hope everything is okay with Ja Morant 🙏
(h/t @donnymonarch ) pic.twitter.com/iNjrKPWWaT
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) May 24, 2023
It’s unclear what Morant meant by the messages, but according to Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, the cryptic post was a cry for help.
“Ja Morant needs to take this time for himself. Think about what he wants his NBA career to be and how he wants to be remembered.”@ShannonSharpe reacts to Ja Morant’s latest cryptic Instagram story pic.twitter.com/l14ttcGTd4
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) May 24, 2023
“I don’t think the NBA is going to allow you to be a part-time thug and a part-time NBA player. You get to choose one or the other,” Sharpe said on Undisputed. “Hopefully he chooses the latter and he becomes a full-time basketball player. But I do think Ja needs some guidance, some counseling. I would love to sit down and just have a conversation with him and say, ‘Ja, what do you want bruh, do you understand how much God has given you?’”
The cryptic post comes less than two weeks after Morant was on Instagram Live, flashing what appeared to be a gun for the second time in two months. Morant was suspended indefinitely by the Grizzlies over the latest gun incident and is awaiting what is expected to be a lengthy suspension handed down by NBA commissioner Adam Silver. Furthering the fallout from appearing on Instagram Live with a gun for the second time in two months, Morant’s signature shoe was removed from Nike’s website earlier this week.
“I think this was a cry out. I could be wrong,” Sharpe continued. “He put egg on a lot of people’s faces because Nike stuck around him the first time…he made a mistake and he apologized for it and they believed him. Powerade stuck by him, they believed him! And then not two months later, you find yourself in the very situation that you apologized for…don’t worry about the Nike contract, don’t worry about the Powerade, get the attention and the help that you need and then everything will fall back into place and take care of itself.”
Sharpe was a staunch critic of Morant and the Grizzlies this season. At one point, the Fox Sports host nearly came to blows with the entire team while sitting courtside at a Lakers game. But after spending months blasting Morant for being associated with several gun-related incidents this season, Sharpe is now offering to be a sort of mentor. Even though Sharpe carries clout with athletes, and Morant might benefit from help in getting his career back on track, that guidance coming from one of his critics seems unlikely to cut through.