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Grizzlies Ja Morant suspension draws beautiful take from Metta Sandiford-Artest

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Ja Morant will be flooded with ridicule and mockery after being suspended 25 games by the NBA, much like he has been for the last several months. Public displays of bad judgment often do not go away, unfortunately. But the Memphis Grizzlies star is getting some needed words of wisdom and support from a retired player who knows very well what it feels like to be a pariah.

Metta Sandiford-Artest, known more his eccentric personality and physical defense, showed a softer side when weighing in on the Morant situation Friday. “Looking forward to Ja Morant returning to play,” he tweeted. “We are all role models at some point. Ja will be even better from this. We are pulling for him!”

Inspiring words that carry a substantial weight based on the man delivering them. Sandiford-Artest was suspended 86 games in 2004 for his role in The Malice in the Palace, in which multiple Indiana Pacers players fought Detroit Pistons fans in the stands. It was a public relations nightmare that made the NBA look weak. The ignominy of being severely punished as well as being considered unhinged did not keep the former Defensive Player of the Year down, though.

Artest-Sandiford found redemption with the Los Angeles Lakers, serving as a key enforcer for Kobe Bryant and company en route to winning back-to-back championships. He bounced around after that, but his place in basketball history is solidified. The brawl and subsequent suspension are inextricably linked to his legacy, but they do not define it.

Ja Morant was punished for recklessly waiving and wielding a gun multiple times. He can still flip the narrative and be known as a superstar who overcame bad decisions and immaturity while leading the Grizzlies to their first title in franchise history. Morant has his inspiration to draw from. This suspension can be the beginning of a much-needed fresh start.

The post Grizzlies’ Ja Morant suspension draws beautiful take from Metta Sandiford-Artest appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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