Barring a cataclysm, Ja Morant should be one of the players who will embody the future of the league. But the Memphis superstar also knows how to pay tribute to the big names that came before him, and he had a great outing against LeBron James and Anthony Davis recently.
The least we can say is that Ja Morant made a sensational debut in the NBA. For three years that he has crisscrossed the floors of the big league, the leader of the Grizzlies has put a large part of the basketball community in the pocket, in particular thanks to his ultra-spectacular style of play. Last season alone, he finished with more than 26 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists on average, which earned him the title of best progression of the year.
When we see him play and especially dominate the opposing defenses, we sometimes tend to forget that the guy is still only 23 years old and that his career is still only at the beginning. Visiting the podcast Pivot, the former product of the university of Murray State has also returned to his very first steps in pro, during his rookie season in 2019-20. One moment in particular stuck in his mind, his first game against the Lakers in LeBron James and Anthony Davis :
Morant amazed in his first game against the Lakers
I received the Bron and AD jerseys after the same match. It was a big moment for me. Obviously, my year as a rookie, playing against the best was a moment of stupefaction, like “Wow”. I watched him on TV a few years ago, and even last year when I was in Murray watching them play. And now I’m putting on my jersey and playing against them.
We can easily understand the number 12, who found himself there facing two behemoths of the orange ball, in particular the King which some consider to be the GOAT. Enough to make him over-motivated every time he competes against the Pourpres et Ors? It’s quite possible, because when he faces them, his performances are usually five stars. Last January, he even split an absolutely staggering counter that broke social networks:
JA MORANT WILD BLOCK 😳 pic.twitter.com/ZxQqdCWFsk
— NBA TV (@NBATV) January 10, 2022
With LBJ now 37 years old and AD spending more time in the infirmary than on the field for a while, Ja is also taking the opportunity to climb the hierarchy of the best players in the league. In the company of Luka DoncicJayson Tatum or even Zion Williamson, he embodies the future of the NBA which looks bright. In order to pay homage to his elders, he could strike very hard by taking Memphis to the first title in franchise history. That would be a hell of a performance.
Ja Morant says it cash, he has nothing but respect for LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That being said, that certainly won’t stop him from wanting to destroy them on the court in 2022-23, when his Grizzlies will face the Lakers.