Report: Members of Pacers' travel party threatened by Ja Morant associates in Memphis
INDIANAPOLIS – Members of the Pacers' travel party were "aggressively confronted" by acquaintances of Grizzlies star Ja Morant after the teams’ game in Memphis on Jan. 29, according to a report by The Athletic on Sunday.
Multiple members of the Pacers told NBA investigators they saw a red laser dot pointed at them, a person familiar with the details told IndyStar and USA Today Sports. The person request anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the details of the investigation. A Pacers security guard believed the laser was attached to a gun, The Athletic reported.
A league spokesman confirmed to IndyStar and USA Today Sports that the league had performed an investigation.
“NBA Security and league investigators conducted an investigation interviewing numerous eyewitnesses and reviewing video surveillance following allegations made by the Indiana Pacers organization regarding a postgame incident on Jan. 29," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said via email. "While we substantiated that a postgame situation arose that was confrontational, based on interviews and other evidence gathered, we could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon. Certain individuals involved in the postgame situation and a related matter during the game that night have been subsequently banned from attending games in the arena. If additional information becomes available related to the postgame situation, the league office will conduct a further review.”
The Pacers declined comment to IndyStar about the incident before Sunday's game against the Cavaliers.
“We felt we were in grave danger,” one person who was present said to The Athletic. The sources requested anonymity because they fear retribution, according to The Athletic.
Morant tweeted: "did a investigation seen they were cappin still let a article come out to paint this negative image on me & my fam & banned my brother from home games for a year unbelievable"
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said when asked about the report: "That was addressed internally. Aware of the investigation of the NBA. We were fulling compliant with it. I think they came out with a statement saying nothing was corroborated or found. ... That's all I'm going to comment about."
DaMichael Cole, the Grizzlies beat writer for The Commercial-Appeal in Memphis, reported that Morant and the Pacers' Andrew Nembhard has a confrontation during the Jan. 29 game with the Pacers' James Johnson also getting involved. Davonte Pack, a friend of Morant's was escorted off the floor.
Pacers center Myles Turner was asked about the incident after Sunday's game when he and point guard Tyrese Haliburton were at the podium. He said neither he nor Haliburton were present for the incident.
"We kinda just heard stories," Turner said. "I can't speak to things I didn't see with my own two eyes."
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said he wasn't present either.
"I was in the locker room," Carlisle said. "Someone called me. I was on the way, but I missed the whole thing. I don't (have any comment.) The NBA investigated it. From there, I think the thing is over."
This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Members of Pacers threatened by Ja Morant associates, per report