Ja Morant arrived as a superstar this season, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to the 2nd best record in the Western Conference and the Conference Semifinals in the playoffs. His exploits have established him as one of the best players in the league and he knows it too, talking his talk on Twitter throughout the season about several different things.
As such, even though Morant only just completed his 3rd season in the league, he has some semblance of superiority over quite a few other players. Especially the players that have come into the league after Morant. And he showed it when he clapped back at Jonathan Kuminga after the Warriors beat the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Semifinals.
Kuminga tweeted saying 'Whoop that' about what had become a running joke throughout the series. This rubbed Morant the wrong way, and he responded with a tweet of his own telling Kuminga to 'earn some stripes'.
"Gotta earn some stripes first kid."
Well, the comment hasn't aged quite well for Morant. In the NBA, the ultimate prize is an NBA championship and as much as Morant has impressed, his team seems quite far away from being the favorites to win. This is opposed to Jonathan Kuminga who finds himself a champion already as a rookie.
And it wasn't just a ring as an end-of-the-bench player, Kuminga played in 16 games during the playoffs, averaging 5.2 important points per game. The experience of winning a championship already is huge for Kuminga who is just 19, making him the 2nd youngest player to win the title.
This goes to show the difference being drafted into the right situation can have. No one would suggest that Kuminga is even near Morant's level yet, but having a ring certainly counts as earning a stripe and perhaps it'll make Ja think twice before talking too much before the dust settles again.