Morant dials up courtside fans after ejection versus Thunder

Dec 17, 2022, 8:09 AM | Updated: Dec 18, 2022, 7:19 am
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) talks to referee Phenizee Ransom, right, after receiving a t...

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) talks to referee Phenizee Ransom, right, after receiving a technical foul in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

              Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, center, talks to referee Phenizee Ransom, right, after receiving a technical foul in the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Oklahoma City. Looking on at left is Oklahoma City Thunder guard Aaron Wiggins (21). (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
            
              Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) talks to referee Phenizee Ransom, right, after receiving a technical foul in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Ja Morant’s interaction with courtside fans continued long after he was ejected from the Memphis Grizzlies’ game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Morant was ejected just before halftime Saturday night after drawing two technical fouls with his team down by 20 points. The Grizzlies went on to lose to the Thunder 115-109.

Making the whole scene more surreal, Morant was talking with fans sitting courtside when he was tossed. On his way out of the game, Morant gave the courtside fans two thumbs up.

And the player’s conversation with the fans continued from the locker room. Morant reportedly called his father, who carried a cell phone over to the fans Morant had been interacting with. Morant confirmed he spoke to the fans on Facetime after his ejection, saying he wanted to thank them for supporting him.

“They came to support us. They came to watch us play. I don’t care about getting fined,” Morant said after the game. “You know, just watching basketball, looking at all these other people you can name that be All-Stars, certain stuff they get, I feel it’s not consistent on my end. I speak my peace and some of them get in they feelings.”

Morant says neither of his technical fouls came as a result of anything he said directly to officials.

“I got my first tech for saying I got hit in my (expletive) face,” Morant said. “And then I get another tech for talking with a fan for him (referee Ray Acosta) being in my conversation again. I feel like when these fans came here, went online to buy these tickets, it didn’t say Ray name to come watch.”

Morant was ejected from a game on Dec. 1 and was fined $35,000 for his comments about officiating. He was asked if he felt as if he was being singled out for his on-court behavior.

“I don’t know. Probably so,” he said. “Probably don’t like me.”

___

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Morant dials up courtside fans after ejection versus Thunder