New Chicago Bulls point guard Patrick Beverley has a powerful message for Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant.
“I like Ja. And I like Ja camp,” Beverley said on the ‘Pat Bev Podcast with Rone’ on March 7. “Every time I see him, I speak – say hello, if they need anything while they in L.A…He’s on his way to something that, regardless of what area, what hood, what ethnicity you grew up in…He’s changing the game. And he’s opening doors for people his size, athleticism, his background. So, with doing that, you have to carry that responsibility. Even if you’re ready for it or not. I think that’s just part of the business”
Morant has found himself making headlines for the wrong reasons.
Most recently, he has been sent away from the team following a video Morant posted on his Instagram that showed him holding what appeared to be a gun in a nightclub while the team was in Denver to take on the Nuggets on March 3.
Members of the Indiana Pacers also filed a complaint with the NBA alleging that someone in a vehicle Morant was believed to be in pointed a red laser at them after their tilt on January 14.
“It’s unfortunate,” Beverley said of Morant’s current plight. “It’s very unfortunate. “And I don’t know his upbringing. Because the upbringing of guys that’s really from the trenches, it’s like, when you get older and you get money, you try to – I would say go away from it. But you try to better the situation you’re in.”
Morant is also accused of threatening a security guard at a mall after a member of his entourage “pushed” the security guard in the head, according to a report from the Washington Post from March 1.
The Post also details Morant striking a minor “12 to 13 times” before then “brandishing” a gun at the teenager, according to the police report.
This drew a particular bit of Beverley’s brand of ire during the discussion.
“Fighting 17 [or] 18-year-old boys where I’m from – in my neighborhood, where I’m from – you don’t get no points for that,” Beverley said. “You get points for beating up the big dog, not small cats….We got a rule growing up: you don’t flash gun unless you’re ready to use it. Obviously, it’s unfortunate. But no one just flashes a gun for the heck of it.”
There was less than a week between the two incidents.
The Grizzlies initially said Morant would be away for at least two games. He has since missed three games already and won’t return for their matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on March 11.
Head coach Taylor Jenkins says they are not going to rush the process.
The soonest Morant would be able to return is March 17 when the Grizzlies will be in San Antonio to take on the Spurs, according to the timeline Jenkins laid out.
“Somebody need to take his phone,” Beverley said half joking.
Patrick Beverley ‘Almost’ Envious of Ja Morant
“I never grew up with my father,” said Beverley. “And it’s almost like a envy thing when I see that man dad at every game. That s*** shouldn’t be happening man. We keeping it real, that s*** shouldn’t be happening. My dad at every game? That little s*** that you can control – little guns and little fights – that s*** shouldn’t happen, man.”
Morant’s father has been prominent as a supporter of his son at games but has come under intense scrutiny for these events. Shannon Sharpe of Undisputed told TMZ the elder Morant “needs to act like a father, not a friend”.
The police report from the incident with the minor states Tee Morant attempted to intervene.
“It’s not only Ja,” Beverley said. “I challenge everybody in the situation to be better, for real. Because Ja is like the face of the new culture. You know what I’m saying? In a lot of ways, we need Ja. I got video, my son scored his first basket, first basket he’s ever scored…first thing he did was the Griddy. The first thing. I’ve never done the Griddy…Clean.”
Beverley says that is proof of Morant’s grasp on the youth and roughly references John F. Kennedy‘s adaptation of Luke 12:48 from 1961 when the former president said, “to whom much is given, much will be required”.
Patrick Beverley: ‘I Don’t Feel the Need’ to Carry a Gun
“I’ve been playing professionally for 14 years, I been in the NBA 11, [and] I don’t have security,” Beverley said. “I don’t even have anyone in the car with me…When I’m rotating by myself, I don’t have security because I don’t feel the need to. I don’t feel the need to…tote guns. And I started in Houston where every m***** f***** got a gun. But I’ve never felt the need to. I’m a basketball player.”
Beverley was clear that, while he may have some friends that he loves “to f****** death” who are “f****** criminals”, he is not trying to emulate their lifestyle.
The Chicago native harped on the danger of inviting that kind of attention, went into a larger societal issue noting a change in the tone of rap music, and pondered the impact of social media on the entire situation.