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Grizzlies' Ja Morant Sued, Accused of Punching 17-Year-Old During Pickup Game

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 3, 2023

MEMPHIS, TN - DECEMBER 31:  Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 31, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

A lawsuit was filed in September accusing Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant of punching a 17-year-old during a pickup basketball game, according to TMZ Sports.

The alleged assault occurred on July 26 at Morant's home in Eads, Tennessee. According to the teenager, Morant hit him "with a closed fist, knocking him to the ground" and then "continued sticking him while on the ground."

Morant's childhood friend Davonte Pack was also listed as a defendant in the suit.

The plaintiff said the altercation began after he threw a basketball at Morant that he said accidentally hit the Grizzlies star in the face. Morant told police at the time it was intentional and he was acting in self-defense after the plaintiff "began to approach him as if he wanted to fight."

Morant told police the teenager also made verbal threats against him before leaving, saying he would "light his house up."

Police investigated, but the district attorney declined prosecution.

The 23-year-old Morant is in his fourth NBA season, with Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Player awards already on his resume. The All-Star was named second-team All-NBA last season and is considered an MVP candidate in 2022-23 while leading the Grizzlies to the second-best record in the Western Conference.