Lawyers representing Ja Morant, the star player for the Memphis Grizzlies, will be permitted to argue that Morant acted in self-defense in a lawsuit accusing him of assaulting a teenager during a pickup basketball game. The decision was made by Circuit Court Judge Carol Chumney, who scheduled a hearing on December 11th for Morant's lawyers and 18-year-old Joshua Holloway to discuss whether Morant should be immune from liability under Tennessee law.
According to Morant's legal team, the incident occurred when Holloway hit Morant in the chin with a basketball during the game, and Morant responded by punching him once. Based on these claims, Morant's lawyers motioned that he should be protected from conviction under Tennessee's "stand your ground" law, which allows individuals to use force if they feel threatened in their own homes. The pickup basketball game took place at Morant's residence in Memphis.
During the initial filing of the lawsuit, Holloway was only 17 years old. The legal action accuses Morant and his friend, Davonte Pack, of assault, reckless endangerment, abuse or neglect, and the infliction of emotional distress. In response, Morant filed a countersuit against Holloway, alleging slander, battery, and assault. So far, no criminal charges have been brought against Morant. However, Pack is currently facing misdemeanor assault charges in a separate criminal case that will be heard in court on Tuesday.
Earlier this year, Morant received a suspension from the NBA for the first 25 games of the 2023-24 season after a video surfaced on social media showing him brandishing a gun inside a vehicle. This ban came after Morant had already served an eight-game suspension in March for another incident in which he brandished a gun at a strip club in the Denver area.
In summary, lawyers representing Ja Morant will have the opportunity to present arguments in court claiming that Morant acted in self-defense during the alleged assault on Joshua Holloway. A hearing has been scheduled to consider whether Morant should be immune from liability under Tennessee law. The NBA has previously suspended Morant for gun-related incidents, and criminal charges have been filed against his friend, Davonte Pack, in relation to the pickup basketball game incident.