Ja Morant is on a mission right now. The 2019 NBA draft No. 2 overall pick is trying to build something good in Memphis, leading the Grizzlies to get big wins in the first weeks of the 2021/22 NBA season.
The point guard just became the third player to record 60 points in the first three games of a season after Shaquille O'Neal and Giannis Antetokounmpo, making it clear he's the real deal. Ja has been great since his first season, winning the Rookie of the Year award when everybody thought Zion Williamson was a lock for the prize.
He took the Memphis Grizzlies to the NBA playoff in his second season, stunning the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament, before stealing Game 1 of their first-round series vs. the Utah Jazz.
There's no doubt that Ja has made a lot of noise in the league, but he's not satisfied. This year, he will raise the bar, trying to become an All-Star for the first time in his career. Talking with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the 22-year-old revealed what has motivated his hot start.
“I feel like it took me averaging 35 points a game to finally get some All-Star recognition,” Morant told Yahoo Sports. “But, I really can’t speak too much on that. I feel like my chip will never leave.”
“I was in position to be an All-Star my first two years and didn’t make it. That bothered me a lot,” Morant told Yahoo Sports. “So I just stopped focusing on that and just focusing on my play. I’m a winner, and that’s the main goal. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself. I just got to control what I can control and that’s my play on the floor.”
Even though he is in a small market, Ja doesn't plan to leave Memphis in the short future. He knows he's in the right place and appreciates everything the people and the organization have done for him.
“I’m just happy that I got picked where I’m at right now,” Morant told Yahoo Sports. “I love the Grizzlies organization, I love the fans. If I went back to that draft, I hope I go No. 2 again.”
It's refreshing to see young players wanting to play with the team that originally drafted them for a long time. We've seen disgruntled stars using many tactics to force their way out of teams in the past couple of seasons.
Like LaMelo Ball and other young stars, Ja doesn't want to join that trend and plan to have a long and successful career with just one franchise. This season, Morant has a big chance to earn his first All-Star call, and plenty of fans are rooting for him.