Members of the Indiana Pacers’ travel party were “aggressively confronted” by acquaintances of Grizzlies star Ja Morant after the teams’ game in Memphis on Jan. 29, according to a report by The Athletic on Sunday.
Multiple members of the Pacers told NBA investigators they saw a red laser dot pointed at them, a person familiar with the details told the Indianapolis Star and USA TODAY Sports. The person requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the details of the investigation. A Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun, The Athletic reported.
A league spokesman confirmed to IndyStar and USA TODAY Sports that the league had performed an investigation. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said the incident was also “addressed internally” by the team.
“We’re aware of the investigation of the NBA,” Jenkins told the Memphis Commercial Appeal before Sunday’s game against the Toronto Raptors. “They did a full investigation, we were fully compliant with it and I think they came out with a statement saying nothing was corroborated or found. That’s what I know and that’s all I’m going to comment on.”
DaMichael Cole, the Grizzlies beat writer for the Commercial-Appeal, reported that Morant and the Pacers’ Andrew Nembhard had a confrontation during the Feb. 29 game with the Pacers’ James Johnson also getting involved. Davonte Pack, a friend of Morant’s was escorted off the floor.
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The NBA investigation was unable to find evidence that anyone pointed a gun, league spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement.
“While we substantiated that a postgame situation arose that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence gathered, we could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon,” Bass said.
“Certain individuals involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during the game that night have been subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information becomes available related to the postgame situation, the league office will conduct a further review.”
Morant responded to news of the investigation on his Twitter account Sunday evening:
“did a investigation seen they were cappin still let a article come out to paint this negative image on me & my fam & banned my brother from home games for a year unbelievable”
The Pacers declined comment to IndyStar about the incident before Sunday’s game against the Cavaliers.
“We felt we were in grave danger,” one person who was present said to The Athletic. The persons requested anonymity because they fear retribution, according to The Athletic.
Contributing: Evan Barnes, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Story Credit: usatoday.com