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“Why Did He Have His Shirt Off?”: Sent to Rehab, Millionaire NBA Star’s Decline Slammed by Shaquille O’Neal and His Close Friend

Published 03/11/2023, 8:10 AM EST

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The allegations and controversies surrounding Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant have escalated to the next level over the past week. It has reached a point whereby Morant had to deactivate his social media accounts after issuing an apology to the league and its fans. Several NBA legends and analysts have chimed in on Morant’s off-court antics recently. And Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal is no exception. The Big Diesel had a very stern message to relay to the young superstar after he was reportedly sent to rehab.

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Shaq dedicated almost the entirety of a latest podcast appearance to discussing Ja Morant’s actions. He even went a step ahead to help Morant face the music and genuinely apologize for his actions.

Shaquille O’Neal and co-hosts go off on Ja Morant


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In the most recent episode of ‘The Big Podcast’, Shaq, along with co-host Nischelle Turner, slammed the Memphis star for his past escapades. After detailing what Morant should say in the media to get himself off the hook, Shaq ended up impersonating Morant and drafting an apology on his behalf. However, his friend and co-host Nischelle Turner didn’t think an apology was enough to nullify the 23-year-old’s actions.

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Turner was adamant that even though the 2020 Rookie of the Year apologized, it isn’t enough. There have been so many alleged incidents that paint the 6’3 point guard in a negative light, it creates a whole narrative that is hard to ignore.


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After Turner went on to list out the alleged accusations against Morant, she said, “Why’d he have his shirt off in a strip club?”, referring to the Instagram live video where Morant flashed a firearm in a club. However, Shaquille O’Neal had a very different opinion on the matter.

The Lakers legend believed that Morant is not past redemption yet, as long as he mends his ways and humbly apologizes to his fans. He added, enacting Morant’s apology, “I’m a dummy. Kids, don’t do what I do. Learn from my mistakes. It was something, it was something that shouldn’t have happened. I don’t know why I did it.”

In the meantime, Shaq mentioned that the two-time All-Star is reportedly going to rehab as well. This immediately made co-host Spice Adams chime in as he said, “You know what? This had to happen. It had to happen. Because this is the only way that he’ll be able to learn. The only way.”


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What’s next for the Memphis Grizzlies?

Ja Morant has distanced himself from the team for their next four games. The last game he played was against the Denver Nuggets. Since then, the Grizzlies have lost two games and won only their last matchup.

Watch This Story – $231 million Ja Morant sees himself with Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, and John Stockton in his long-term NBA legacy


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Morant had allegedly also gotten into an altercation with a 17-year-old kid during a pickup basketball game at his mansion. Now, if the allegations and accusations against Morant turn out to be true, then the future of the Grizzlies franchise may take a turn for the worse.

Let’s hope that Ja Morant returns to the team with a new and fresh perspective.

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Written by:

Abhishek Dhariwal


One take at a time

Abhishek Dhariwal is an NBA writer for EssentiallySports. He earned his bachelor's degree in English Honors from St. Xavier's College and his master's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from AAFT School of Mass Communication and Journalism.
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Edited by:

Satagni Sikder