Several acquaintances of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant apparently “aggressively confronted” Indiana Pacers staffers after their game at FedExForum last month.
The group, , would then shine a red laser on the Pacers staff from a slow-moving SUV. Morant was reportedly in the SUV, and Pacers personnel and additional security believed the laser was attached to a gun, though it’s unclear who was controlling it.
“We felt we were in grave danger,” one person anonymously told The Athletic out of fear of retaliation.
The incident occurred after what was a controversial match on 29 January. The Grizzlies beat the Pacers 112-100, but the postgame incident followed one in the third quarter in which one of Morant’s longtime friends, Davonte Pack, actually walked out onto the courthouse and started yelling at the players of the Pacers.
The game was briefly halted and Pack was removed from the floor after he, along with Morant’s father Tee Morant and members of both teams “verbally fought”.
Pack and others then walked about 30 feet to the Pacers bus after the game and began yelling at them, according to the report. The incident continued for about 15 minutes until Morant left the arena and got into an SUV with Pack and one other person. That’s when the SUV then moved towards the Pacers’ bus and presumably slowly aimed the laser at them.
The Pacers group did not file a police report, apparently out of fear, but the team told the NBA, which has launched an investigation into the incident. Several people have been banned from the arena, but the league hasn’t confirmed who they are or if a weapon was involved. The Grizzlies declined to comment except to say they “completely complied” with the NBA’s investigation.
“NBA Security and league investigators conducted an investigation by interviewing numerous eyewitnesses and reviewing video surveillance following allegations made by the Indiana Pacers organization regarding a postgame incident on January 29. While we have proven that an incident occurred a postgame situation that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence we collected, we could not confirm that an individual threatened others with a weapon,” league spokesman Mike Bass told The Athletic. “Some people involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during that night’s game were later banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information regarding the postgame situation becomes available, the league office will conduct a further review.”
Morant is in his fourth season in the league after the Grizzlies drafted him with the second overall pick in 2019. He is averaging 27.3 points and 8.3 assists for his career this season.