Ja Morant is the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in the eyes of many.
Back in the spring, NBA on TNT analyst, Charles Barkley gave Morant his co-sign. “I want to say this about Zion Williamson: he is an amazing kid from a distance,” Barkley told me.
“He’s been a great jolt of energy in the NBA, I hope he continues to do his thing, he’s been awesome, BUT if they screw Ja Morant out of this Rookie of the Year thing, I’m gonna be really pissed and I’m gonna blow a gasket on TNT.”
After sharing that with Morant’s father, Tee Morant on today’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast, the eldest Morant laughed.
“Aye, just like Aaron Gordon was supposed to be the Dunk Contest champ,” Tee Morant said.
“It’s laughable if he’s not. Because you cannot – I mean, you talk about Rookie of the Year you cannot show me a rookie that did anything close to what he did with the Memphis Grizzlies. We was projected to finish what, 14th? Okay. So we’re right now in the playoff seat, but the crazy thing about it is and I know it’s all political you know, so I have nothing to do with that and if by some stretch of the imagination he’s NOT Rookie of the Year in terms of what’s going on in the world…because he did whatever it took to be Rookie of the Year. It’s funny because before the Draft when we went to the playoff game, Charles Barkley was clowin’ my boy about how frail he was and his size and that was so funny and then Ja blamed it on me he said, “You should’ve lifted weights when you was coming up so then I would’ve been bigger!” I was like, ‘That’s not how DNA works. You pay your own bill as far as getting bigger’… you know, at the same time to hear Charles and to hear Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson and all of them really big up my son, it’s a blessing to me. It’s a proud moment as a dad. Yeah, but it’s crazy. If he’s not Rookie of the Year, you got to show me something different.”
Ja Morant is averaging 17.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.9 assists for a Grizzlies team that currently sits in 8th place in the NBA’s Western Conference.
The Memphis Grizzlies are led by the duo of Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. “Jaren and Ja are some great young guys,” Grizzlies big man, Jonas Valanciunas told me back in February.
“They’re working hard, their work ethic is good, they’re in here every night shooting you know, getting their skills better, getting their IQ level better, what else can you expect? They’re really getting better. I don’t know what to say [laughs]. I’ve been asked so many times about Ja [Morant] and I say he’s a phenomenal young gentleman. Which is good.”