Ja Morant works hard to improve, yet he can also win to further his cause. Ja Morant works hard to improve, yet he can also win to further his cause.


We adore redemption tales, and Morant is anticipated to begin his subsequent one on Wednesday night.

There are no simple explanations for why Ja Morant did the things he did, as well as what they do or do not indicate about his future. However, there is a simple way to get around them, for better or worse. Win. And Morant will try to do this once more against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night. While worries about his character and future linger, the Western Conference seems as open as it has in at least a generation, and a young star who is both talented and troubled is about to reach a turning point on the court, where he may be most suited to succeed.

Morant told the journalists on Tuesday, “Of course, took that time to better myself, get in a better spot mentally. “It’s a process that I’m still going through. Even though I’ve been there for two weeks, I’m still not 100 percent better. So, since I came out, I’ve been working through that process constantly.

All of it might be accurate. But it’s also true that this would be a successful process in and of itself if Morant were to return and lead his club to a stunning playoff success — a Finals berth, say, if not an outright championship.

Win and everything will be forgotten. Perhaps talent shouldn’t take precedence above everything, but it does. Because of this, despite all the legitimate concerns about Morant the person, he has been pushed back into the game, and this brief ban has felt well-choreographed overall.

Two parallel tracks that are currently playing out and overlapping for Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies will determine the player’s and team’s future.

The first is his actual journey as a person. The attempt to develop, improve, and maybe demonstrate that the immature and troubled young man burdened by his own poor decisions — flashing a gun in the middle of several allegations relating to guns — can be a better version of himself.

Hope he can, though. We have all needed new beginnings and better chances in some form or another.

The usefulness of trying to psychoanalyze Morant is zero, save from the possibility that he will cut off the enablers, make much better decisions, and hope that his family will help him to become more peaceful than conflict. I hope he can find solutions to his off-court issues because they are his own fault. All of us should aspire to that. However, we won’t know until we do.

However, the second course, which starts to take shape Wednesday night, will take place on the basketball floor. This path’s likelihood of success is also much, much apparent. Furthermore, they are considerably more likely to influence the forces that will guard him in the future.

Many problems are resolved when you win. Perhaps it ought to, perhaps it shouldn’t. It does, though. Young, gifted, and charismatic, Morant serves as a catalyst for a club that, in certain cases, is good without him. But at a time when there are no obvious favorites in the West, his presence elevates this squad to the level of a contender.

The Nuggets have recently lost steam, and even when they play at their peak, concerns about their frequently subpar defense persist. The Suns are obviously loaded, but even with his anticipated return from injury at the end of the month, Kevin Durant remains both a mystery and a key player. He has only played for the Phoenix Suns for less than 100 minutes this season, which roughly equates to two whole games and one overtime period. As a result, it is impossible to predict how the club will perform in such a tiny sample size.

The Kings are entertaining, strong, and have a fantastic offense, but should they advance to the NBA Finals, their defense would be historically poor. On the road, the Warriors are invincible. The Lakers are unable to even guarantee that they will make it to a play-in game. Though not in a favorable way, the Mavericks appear to be working out a way to escape the play-in. And following Paul George’s horrific-looking leg injury on Tuesday night, it will be an anxious morning among Clippers supporters.

Even though there may be a stronger argument against each of these clubs, there is still a case for them to represent the West.

The Grizzlies arrive, and Ja Morant is back. They boast the greatest defense in the league, are youthful and athletic, and possess a certain amount of moxy — too much, according to the Warriors — to be given the same serious consideration as the Warriors.

They frequently lacked offensive excellence and reliability. Morant might ignite enough momentum to alter that.

It’s simple to condemn Morant or claim that since no one has been charged criminally, this whole situation is unimportant. Both are mistaken.

In addition to being a brilliant basketball player, Morant appears to be a disturbed young man who is surrounded by both those who can assist and others who have done and might continue to do the opposite. All of it might be accurate at once. Fame, talent, and riches have the capacity to encourage undesirable behavior by luring sycophants, avarice, and hubris. But they can also act as alarm clocks.

A portion of Morant’s recovery might come from playing 48 minutes of NBA basketball. Without diminishing the gravity of the accusations, we are aware that athletes frequently seek solace from their issues in the arena where they compete.

For better or worse, Ja Morant will now have a personal path to take in order to transform his “ongoing process” into a guy who doesn’t reportedly brandish guns or charge at security guards and young people.

He will hoops as he does it.

The Ja Morant story will change if he also succeeds. People adore hearing about people who overcame their problems to become the finest versions of themselves, but this is especially true when such people also happen to be winners.