Ja Morant was just hit with an 8-game suspension without pay for flashing a gun at a strip club earlier this month … with NBA commissioner Adam Silver calling his conduct “irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous.”
Ja — who met with Silver and other NBA execs in NYC on Wednesday — will be eligible to return to the Memphis Grizzlies on March 20 against the Dallas Mavericks.
The league conducted an investigation into the incident … and determined Ja was “in an intoxicated state” when he showed the firearm on his Instagram Live.
The league says the investigation could not determine Ja owned the gun, brought it to the club, or even had it “beyond a brief period.”
The league also says its investigation did not find that Morant had the gun while traveling with the Grizzlies or at any NBA facility.
Morant apologized shortly after the video surfaced … and sought treatment at a counseling program in Florida.
Silver didn’t hold back when addressing Morant’s actions … saying, “Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous.”
“It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him. He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior.”
Silver says Morant has “made it clear” he used the incident as a learning experience … and he now understands his role as one of the faces of the NBA.
The suspension includes the games Morant has already missed during his time away from the team … and sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski his “ramp up to return” will start on Monday.