Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant believes he’s become a better person amid his NBA-issued suspension, which will expire after Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I can’t sit up here and regret it because, in the end, I feel like it made me better,” Morant said Friday, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Morant added that therapy has been an “eye-opening” tool in his rehabilitation. “Kind of gave me a new look on life … with how I carry myself,” he said.


“I’m not done learning about myself,” he continued, “but, I definitely see why the things that happened, happened.”

Morant acknowledges his suspension is part of the reason the Grizzlies are 13th in the Western Conference with a 6-17 record.

“I take full responsibility of that, obviously, even though I’m not on the floor,” he said, per ESPN’s Tim McMahon. “Decisions I made didn’t allow me to be out there to go to battle with my team.”

Morant thinks he’ll become a better role model but “can’t go away from being Ja.”

The 24-year-old is nearing a return from his second suspension of 2023 for conduct detrimental to the league. Morant was banned eight games in March for brandishing a firearm on social media before his current suspension of 25 games in June for a similar offense.

The NBA specified in June that certain conditions would have to be met before the two-time All-Star could return. Commissioner Adam Silver met with Morant earlier this week to check in on the Grizzlies’ star before his return.

Morant is eligible to return Dec. 19 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins expects Morant to be “full go come Game 26,” according to Teresa M. Walker of The Associated Press. “He’s really excited. He understands the process that’s gotten him here.”

Memphis will take on the Houston Rockets on Friday.