Morant says friend was banned from arena over dispute with Pacers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant tweeted Sunday that a friend of his was banned from FedExForum games for a year following a confrontation between his fans and members of the Indiana organization. Pacers a week earlier.

The NBA confirmed that anonymous people had been banned from the arena, while adding that its investigation had found no evidence that anyone was threatened with a weapon during the incident, which happened after the Grizzlies beat the Pacers on January 29.

Citing unnamed sources, The Indianapolis Star and USA Today reported that several Pacers members saw a red dot pointed at them, and The Athletic reported that a Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a handgun. fire.

“NBA and league security investigators conducted an investigation by interviewing numerous eyewitnesses and reviewing CCTV following allegations made by the Indiana Pacers organization regarding a post-game incident on January 29. Although we have proven that a post-match situation occurred that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence collected, we could not corroborate that an individual threatened others. with a weapon,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in an emailed statement.

“Some people involved in the post-game situation and related matter during the game that night were subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. Should additional information become available regarding the post-game situation, the league office will conduct a further review,” the Bass statement continued.

Morant did not play in the Grizzlies’ 106-103 loss to Toronto on Sunday due to right wrist pain and was unavailable for comment after the game.

Prior to the game, Morant tweeted that reports of the incident “paint this negative picture on me & my family. & banned my brother from home games for a year. unbelievable.”

During the Jan. 29 game, there was some barking between Pacers players and Morant’s friends sitting along the sideline. Morant’s close friend, Davonte Pack, was escorted out of the arena as Pacers bench players shouted in Pack’s direction.

Discussions reportedly continued in the players’ parking lot after the game.

Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said the team dealt with the issue internally.

“Aware of the NBA investigation. Did a full investigation,” Jenkins said. “We fully complied with that, and I believe they issued a statement saying nothing was corroborated or found.

“That’s what I know, and that’s all I’m going to comment on.”


AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney contributed to this report.


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