Ja Morant countersues teen, says incident endangered his career

Photo: Memphis Commercial Appeal

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant filed a countersuit against a teenager with whom he allegedly fought during a pickup basketball game on July 26, 2022, according to the Associated Press.

According to the Commercial Appeal, Josh Holloway, who was 17 when the incident occurred and is now 18, filed a lawsuit accusing Morant of hitting him multiple times and then coming outside his home with a gun tucked into his pants. Morant’s countersuit denies these claims and accuses Holloway of slander, battery and assault, stating the lawsuit damages Morant’s reputation and could cost him an All-NBA spot and endorsement deals, which could have substantial financial impacts. If Morant is not named All-NBA, his contract extension signed last summer would be capped at $193 million instead of the $231 million supermax.

In the lawsuit, Morant accused Holloway of throwing a basketball at his face intentionally, an action that Morant believes threatened his career. It states:

“Getting hit in the face with a basketball hurts; for a professional point guard like Mr. Morant, an injury to the eyes or nose could be career ending.”

The suit also said Holloway “balled up his fists” and walked toward Morant as if planning to attack him. Morant has told police that he acted in self-defense and “swung first” as the boy approached, according to the Washington Post. Morant has also filed a separate police report alleging that Holloway shouted, “I’m gonna come back and light this place up like fireworks” as he left the house.

The Post broke the news of this story in March.

This was one of a handful of incidents Morant has been accused of being involved in over the last year. In June, he was accused of threatening a Foot Locker employee who had a dispute with Morant’s mother in the store. In March, he recorded himself on Instagram Live flashing a gun at a strip club.

Morant was suspended eight games for the incident with the gun at the club. The NBA did not suspend him for other incidents. He said he went to counseling during his suspension.

The guard averaged 26.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 8.1 assists in 61 games this season. Morant hopes to earn a spot on All-NBA against other candidates, including hopefuls such as (alphabetically) Devin Booker, Jalen Brunson, Steph Curry, Luka Doncic, DeAaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Tyrese Haliburton, James Harden, Jrue Holiday, Donovan Mitchell and Damian Lillard, among others.

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