Ja Morant had a big day being online Tuesday.
First, Mark Giannotto of the Memphis News posted parts of a conversation he had with Dillon Brooks, in which Brooks said he couldn’t wait for the Grizzlies to trade Andre Iguodala, who is part of the team but hasn’t played since he was signed. Morant, Memphis’ star rookie, quote-tweeted Giannotto and approved of Brooks’ sentiments.
Then when Rachel Nichols tweeted a screenshot of Stephen Curry’s Instagram post of a shushing emoji and a picture of Iguodala holding a championship trophy, Morant responded with a picture of Kevin Durant holding the award for Finals MVP.
Tom Ziller has chronicled the entire saga if you need to catch up, including an explanation of the young Grizzlies’ anger towards Iguodala.
Morant has shown on the court that he’s unafraid of expressing himself, but it looks like he has the same attitude off of it as well. But while Morant’s first two responses were great, the best came when random people on Twitter responded to the Durant picture by bringing up his old tweets expressing adoration for Curry. Morant replied to one of those old tweets in perfect form:
lol delete it for what? if you scroll down my twitter you’ll see me talking about curry a lot . probably some other players too . i was a fan & still a fan but iann scared of him
— Ja Morant (@JaMorant) February 4, 2020
The episode was such a wonderful display of Morant’s character. He is outspoken, self-aware and confident in an open way that most fans aren’t used to from rookies. By bringing up his praise for Curry, fans assumed he would cower and retreat. They thought they caught him being false. But he undercut their efforts by embracing the fact of his fandom and standing his ground. He is a fan of Curry, but he won’t prostrate before him or anyone else.
The back-and-forth reminded me of Drake’s last verse on the song, “Pound Cake / Paris Morton Music 2”. He did the song with Jay-Z, who was an idol of his growing up in a similar way that Curry was for Morant. After Jay Z’s verse on the first half song, the beat changed and transitioned to the second half, in which Drake rapped opening lines that perfectly fit with Morant’s attitude:
Look, fuck all that “Happy to be here” shit that y’all want me on
I’m the big homie, they still be tryna lil bro me, dog
Like I should fall in line
It seems every day someone else tries to humble Morant. And regardless of whether that individual is a defender or a random person on Twitter, he responds in the same emphatic and confident manner. Not only is he a must-see on the court, he’s quickly becoming someone to watch at all times, period.