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Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Grizzlies star Ja Morant faces a harsh reality check regarding his legacy

By meerna Jun18,2024
Grizzlies star Ja Morant faces a harsh reality check regarding his legacy

Found on the hardwood, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant is truly one of the most exciting and entertaining talents in the game. Slamming down dunks and showing off his astonishing speed, the 24-year-old’s rise from promising young stud to legitimate NBA superstar proved astronomically quick.

Then, in the fifth year, after a series of bad out-of-court decisions and health ailments, all the hype and glamor seemed to take a serious hit.

Due to withdrawn sponsorship deals and league suspensions, Morant’s immature actions have cost him dearly from a financial standpoint, but many, such as sports media personality Bill Simmons, believe it may have also cost him a legacy that at one point seemed to be well on its way to all-time great status.

During a recent episode of The Bill Simons Podcast, Simmons and special guest Ryen Russillo of The Ringer discussed players who have taken a hit to their reputation over the past few seasons that they could use in a strong 2024-2025 campaign. to “reverse your legacy.”

So it’s no surprise that the Grizzlies superstar’s name was discussed in this segment, although his inclusion was much different than the others mentioned considering he’s still a very young player in the association.

Morant, described by Simmons as someone in whom “we are all disappointed” and “fears that the situation will continue to go in the wrong direction”, fears that if the defender does not find a way to reconstruct his image from next season, he could join the conversation about “disappointing superstars whose careers were somehow screwed up.”

That said, despite all of this, when assessing the current makeup of this Memphis team going forward, Simmons still believes the near future could still be extremely bright for both the two-time All-Star and the organization as a whole, and even suggests Morant may have a similar impact that Anthony Edwards had on this year’s Western Conference runner-up, the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“If you look at their summer and the squad and their performances coupled with the fact that they have the ninth pick and hopefully (I) come back with my head held high, I don’t know. They have been left out of this Western conversation and I don’t know if I would leave them out because there is no reason why he couldn’t emulate Edwards at least from an offensive standpoint when it comes to stats. He’s not going to imitate the defense, but could he basically be Edwards in Memphis? Yes, I think he could.

Bill Simmons

This isn’t the first time Morant has been linked to people like Edwards. During the latter’s recent deep postseason trip, the two were clearly linked amid a wide-ranging debate among fans about who is more deserving of being seen as the “face of the league” when they appear as full participants in it.

Ultimately, these are two completely different brands of talent, but equally deserving of inclusion in such a conversation.

When Morant is on full court, he is undoubtedly one of the best point guards in the league, not to mention one of the best players in the entire league. In the two seasons prior to his suspension and injury-riddled 2023-2024, the star led the Grizzlies to a total of 107 wins, just two Southwest Division titles and, in 2022, to their first semifinal appearance in nearly a decade.

Fans of last season were fondly reminded of Morant’s impact and impact on this Memphis team when he lit up the stat sheet with 34 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and a block, leading the club from a 24-point deficit, and converted a devastating game-winner in the return game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 19.

From there, his productivity remained steady (25.1 points, 8.1 assists, 5.6 rebounds) until he unfortunately suffered a shoulder subluxation during a training session, forcing him to undergo surgery in mid-January and sidelining him from playing only nine matches. played in a given year.

As a result of his long absence from the game, many seem to suffer from a serious recency bias that makes them forget what a special talent Ja Morant is.

The hope for the 2024-2025 season is that he will be able to provide everyone with a much-needed reminder, helping the Grizzlies rise from their current basement-dweller status and get back into the conversation as a contender in the Western Conference standings.

Simmons feels like the franchise is in the perfect position for all of this to happen, and from a legacy standpoint, he believes Morant desperately needs a revival campaign.

By meerna

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