NBA Star Ja Morant Accused of Punching Teen at His Memphis Home: Report

Previously unreleased reports obtained by The Washington Post allege that the Memphis Grizzlies star was involved in violent incidents

Ja Morant
Ja Morant. Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty

Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant was accused of two incidents of assault last summer, according to previously undisclosed police reports obtained by the Washington Post.

The 23-year-old athlete allegedly assaulted a mall security guard and a 17-year-old boy, on separate occasions, the outlet reported. Ja's agent has disputed details of the allegations as reported in the Post.

Both incidents reportedly occurred last summer in Memphis. The head of security at the Memphis mall where one incident allegedly occurred told law enforcement that Morant made threats toward him, and a member of his entourage "shoved" the guard "in the head" during a squabble in the parking lot.

No arrests were made as a result of the mall incident, but Morant, who was selected as a starter for the NBA All-Star Game in February, was involved in another incident just four days later, the Post reported.

In the second reported incident, Morant was accused of "repeatedly" punching a teenager in the head during a pickup basketball game at Morant's home in Memphis. The victim reportedly told police that the Grizzlies star and an unidentified friend assaulted the boy, knocking him to the ground.

The teen was left with a "large knot" on his head after the attack, deputies from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office who inspected the boy's injuries said in their report.

The teenager also claimed that Morant went inside his home after the fight and reemerged with a gun visible from his waistband, according to the Post.

Ja's agent, Jim Tanner, disputed the report in a statement to PEOPLE. "Any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated," he said. "This includes the NBA investigation last month, in which they found no evidence."

Law enforcement did not ask Morant about the gun, but the athlete told police that his actions were in self-defense after the boy had thrown a ball at his head before any altercation had begun.

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Morant further alleged to detectives that the boy made threats against him, yelling, "I'm gonna come back and light this place up like fireworks," as he left Morant's property, per the Post. Subsequently, Morant filed a police report stemming from the threats made against himself and his family, according to the report.

Tanner said "dozens of people present" at the incident "will confirm Ja acted in self-defense," adding that the allegations against this client are "unsubstantiated rumors and gossip." He charged that the claims "are being put out by people motivated to tear Ja down and tarnish his reputation for their own financial gain."

The NBA All-Star was recently involved in another legal investigation after a February game against the Indiana Pacers.

According to a report from The Athletic's Sam Amick and Bob Kravitz on Feb. 5, "Acquaintances of Grizzlies star Ja Morant aggressively confronted members of the Pacers traveling party near the team's bus in the loading area of FedExForum, and later someone in a slow-moving SUV — which Morant was riding in — trained a red laser on them."

The involved members of Indiana's organization told the outlet, "We felt we were in grave danger." Additionally, a member of the Pacers' security team who was present during the alleged incident said, "That's one hundred percent a gun," at the time, per The Athletic's report.

At the time, the NBA said they reviewed the incident and cleared Morant and his group of any wrongdoing. In a statement issued to PEOPLE, the NBA's Vice President of Basketball Communications Michael Preston said, "Following the game last night, Coach [Rick] Carlisle noted the NBA has investigated the reported incident and considers the matter over."

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