The Grizzlies season may be over, but Tee Morant still has a keen interest in advancing to the NBA playoffs.
The father of Grizzlies second-year star Ja Morant was seen speaking with Jazz point guard Donovan Mitchell following Thursday’s 126-110 win for Utah, which gave the team a series 4- win. 1 and eliminated Memphis from the playoffs. During the exchange, Morant said he would support the Jazz after the organization reacted to the vulgar and racist harassment directed at him and his wife earlier in the series.
The video, from ESPN’s Tim McMahon:
Tee Morant to Donovan Mitchell: “They didn’t have to show us love like that. … That’s why I hope the Jazz win the championship ”.
Mitchell told ESPN: “For me, it was just the ultimate sign of respect.”
– Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 3, 2021
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“I’m going for all of you right now. Why? You didn’t have to do that, you didn’t have to show us love like that,” Morant tells Mitchell. “This is what I’m saying. When things go wrong and then you get closer, that’s how you close the gap. Most people don’t realize that. That’s why I appreciate you and why I hope Jazz wins the award. championship”. .
“Hey, keep killing, kid.”
Mitchell, who had 30 points and 10 assists in Game 5, told ESPN after the fact that he considered Morant’s words “the utmost sign of respect.”
“For me, it was the ultimate sign of respect,” Mitchell said. “You see him talking about the way he handled it, the way we did it. To me, that’s how you approach it. Things are going to happen, and you have to show a side of gratitude – close that gap, as he put it. .
“The fact that he supports us is great. We appreciate it. There is a lot of respect. Very close series. I feel like Ja and I are going to have battles for a long time in our careers. The first one, but there is a lot of respect everywhere.”
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Mitchell was one of several people within the Jazz organization who publicly apologized for the racist and vulgar treatment that Morant and his wife experienced from Utah fans during Game 2 of the series. As a result, those fans have been indefinitely banned from attending Jazz games.
Morant detailed the altercation to McMahon, saying that while most of the Utah fans were great, three fans went “beyond the boos” when talking to him and his family. He said a fan said something sexually explicit to his wife, Jamie. Another said, “I’ll put a nickel on your back and watch you dance, boy.” A third yelled at Jamie, “Shut up, p …”.
The Jazz offered courtesy courtside seats, travel arrangements and lodging to the Morant family after the altercation, which Ja Morant’s mother refused.
“She said her anxiety couldn’t take it,” Tee Morant said.
The Jazz, the No. 1 seed in the NBA playoffs, will face the winner of the Mavericks-Clippers series next.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.