Drugs, alcohol, excesses and the NBA. In the very origin of the best league in the world of basketball, the examples of ruined careers, of lost talents for the cause, are piled up by handfuls. From the tragedy of Len Bias to the case of Lamar Odom. Those ghosts that David Stern tried to nip in the bud in his day now return to fly over the fashionable boy, the uncontrollable genius of colored dreadlocks. As amazing the adventures of Ja Morant on the court as the recent events that have peeked into the abyss: last Wednesday he returned to the courts after nine games of 'reflection' for his scandals.

Which turned out to be the most grotesque. The last one, the one that forced the Grizzlies to keep him away from the sports environment, show in his left hand a firearm in a live of his Instagram account, with more than eight million followers. It happened in Colorado, hours after losing a game against the Nuggets and the incident occurred at a club in a well-known nightlife area. He was also seen in a room full of bills next to a striptease dancer sitting on his lap. "I take responsibility for my actions, I apologize to my family, teammates, coach, fans and the city of Memphis. I will seek help," he admitted.

It was the straw that broke the camel's back of the controversy of the great base of the Grizzlies, who at 23 years old, with his unpredictable, direct and energetic game was turning out to be a revolution. The NBA, whose internal regime in this regard is severe, sanctioned him with eight games (without playing and without salary) for "conduct harmful to the League". The reflection of Morant and his team extended it to one more, as if wanting to calm the waters before the imminent playoffs. In that time, he spent 11 days in a counseling center in Florida, working with psychologists and performing reiki and breathing techniques to control anxiety, trying to calm his inner self. "That doesn't mean he's completely fine. My job now is to be more responsible, smarter and not cause problems," he acknowledged in his first public appearance.

A child, holding a sign supporting Morant.JUSTIN FORDGetty Images via AFP

Because it was not the first time that the boy, rookie of the year in 2020 and father of a girl, got into trouble. Last July, weeks after Morant signed a five-year contract with the Grizzlies for more than $ 231 million, the director of a Memphis shopping center reported threats and aggressions from the player and his group of friends after an argument with Jamie, his mother. Days later he was seen with a gun during an incident at a friendly match at his mansion in Tennessee. According to The Washington Post, one of the non-professional players of the pachanga denounced him for hitting him violently on several occasions.

Even more bizarre, last January the Pacers reported that their bus was pointed by a laser of a firearm from a van in which Morant was riding after his game in Memphis. One of his friends, Devonte Pack, was banned for a year from Grizzlies games for several altercations.

All too controversial in the figure of one of the new icons of the League, king of the highlights, who until his sanction averaged more than 27 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the thriving Grizzlies of Santi Aldama. Because although he denies it, asks for forgiveness and abandons social networks, his alleged addiction to alcohol seems to be behind the drift of that boy who passed under the radar of all scouts and only one, from Murray State University, when he was taking a break and went out for something to snack (a bag of Doritos), He discovered him on a secondary track.

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