Ja Morant got a little extra motivation to carry his Memphis Grizzlies to victory on Saturday night. After the game, the shooting guard talked to Fox Sports about the win over the Los Angeles Lakers. It was the first time in his young career Morant was able to beat a LeBron James-led team. While he was likely being sarcastic, there was an edge to his voice when he said the win was for a fan who had taken to social media earlier in the week, claiming the player didn’t have the same kind of fire he used to have.
“I’m thankful for this guy who tweeted and said I don’t have that fire in my eye no more. That game right there was for him.”
Fox Sports Grizzlies posted the video showing what he said on Twitter, adding that the extra motivation led to him scoring 27 points and dishing out 14 assists. The Grizzlies, thanks in part to that performance, were able to blow out the Lakers 105-88. The win was a big one for Memphis, improving its record to 29-31 for the season. Currently the eighth seed in the Western Conference, the Grizzlies now hold a 2.5 game lead on the ninth spot in the standings. That means if the season ended today, Morant’s squad would be squeaking into the playoffs.
The comment on television isn’t the first time Morant has made it clear he noticed and did not agree with the fan’s Twitter post.
When that fan first posted, “I liked it when Ja had that fire in his eye. He doesn’t look like he wants it more than others,” the guard responded to the tweet with several laughing emoji. That was on Friday night.
Saturday night, he showed he still had the fire he was accused of no longer possessing. It marked the 21st time in his rookie season he’s scored 20 or more points, and his 14 assists marked a career-high.
This is hardly the first time Ja Morant has taken notice of an NBA player not getting the respect the guard believes they are due. As The Inquisitr previously reported, he came to the defense of rival guard Russell Westbrook earlier this week, saying that Westbrook doesn’t get the respect he deserves.
Morant’s performance is even more important considering it helped break a five-game losing streak for the Memphis Grizzlies. That streak allowed the New Orleans Pelicans to close the gap when it comes to who is going to get the final Western Conference playoff spot.