Here's Why Ja Morant Could Be Facing Up To A 50-Game Suspension

The NBA continues to investigate the Ja Morant firearms incident. While he's serving a minimum two-game suspension by the Memphis Grizzlies (and likely more), the league's by-laws ban guns in any type of team setting—which includes the team plane or any other official gathering. 

And if we go by past precedent, the Commissioner's Office could levy a suspension on Morant in the range of up to 50 games — that's the amount the league ultimately banned Gilbert Arenas for, for having a firearm in the Washington Wizards team locker room back in 2010. 

There is no specific or automatic suspension in the CBA, but the precedent is there. 

Here is the by-law in question:

Whenever a player is physically present at a facility or venue owned, operated, or being used by a Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, and whenever a player is traveling on any NBA-related business, whether on behalf of the player’s Team, the NBA, or any League-related entity, such player shall not possess a firearm of any kind or any other deadly weapon. For purposes of the foregoing, “a facility or venue” includes, but is not limited to: an arena; a practice facility; a Team or League office or facility; an All-Star or NBA Playoff venue; and the site of a promotional or charitable appearance.

Morant flashed a gun on his Instagram Live feed from Denver over the weekend, which, if he indeed transported it from Memphis to Denver on a team plane, would violate the NBA rules. The discipline he would be subjected to is stated in the CBA as follows:

The Commissioner shall have the power to suspend for a definite or indefinite period, or to impose a fine not exceeding $50,000, or inflict both such suspension and fine upon any Player who, in his opinion, (i) shall have made or caused to be made any statement having, or that was designed to have, an effect prejudicial or detrimental to the best interests of basketball or of the Association or of a Member, or (ii) shall have been guilty of conduct that does not conform to standards of morality or fair play, that does not comply at all times with all federal, state, and local laws, or that is prejudicial or detrimental to the Association.

In the Gilbert Arenas incident, Javaris Crittenton was also suspended for the balance of the season for bringing a gun into the locker room; that ban turned out to be 38 games. 

Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports