Ja Morant had a relatively quiet return from his left knee injury in the Memphis Grizzlies' 102-99 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night, but he was especially upset by some of the hometown fans in the game.
"I was running down the court, and I heard some of my fans courtside tell me I need to sit back out," Morant said after the game. "So, I just don't understand what they wanted to get out of that. I feel like that just makes it worse."
The Grizzlies went 10-2 with a league-best plus-16.5 net rating while Morant was out with a sprained knee, but they couldn't beat 10-19 Oklahoma City in his return as he finished with 16 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals on 6-of-12 shotting.
"I’m just frustrated," he told reporters. "Normally—y'all have seen it—when anybody says something negative about me, it fuels me. But, tonight, the remarks from the fans actually hurt."
The 22-year-old noted the fans were chanting "M-V-P" a few weeks earlier. He wrote on Twitter that he will take a break from social media, although he did have a positive message for those supporting him:
The third-year guard is still in the midst of his best season, averaging 23.7 points, 6.9 assists, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals while improving his outside shooting (36.4 percent from three).