There is no question that Ja Morant is one of the most electrifying superstars in the NBA today. He's a walking highlight real and has reached superstardom by helping turn the Memphis Grizzlies' organization and culture around. I mean, just look at this highlight clip below from Tuesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
In his four years in the league, Morant has already won the Rookie of the Year and Most Improved player of the year awards on top of an All-Star game appearance and an All-NBA team selection last season. At this point, it's safe to assume that Ja will be one of the faces of the league for years to come.
However, a handful of Hall-of-Famers still believe that Morant has much to work on when it comes to his game. One of them is Charles Barkley, who called out Morant for lacking a skill set essential to winning basketball.
Barkley doesn't think Morant is a team player.
According to Sir Charles, Morant still needs to learn how to uplift and make his teammates better on the court. As one of the best point guards in the league right now, Barkley implied that Morant needs to develop his basketball IQ in terms of creating opportunities for his teammates and attacking the opponent's defense to get those around him to score as well.
"The next evolution for Ja is that he's gotta learn how to make the players around him better. When you're a great player, you can get your shot anytime you want to. I don't think he's added that to his game yet. Sometimes when you make a play, you gotta be thinking, 'I can go around this guy but I need to get this guy going,'" Barkley said on Tuesday's NBA TNT segment.
A few hours after Barkley's quote surfaced, Morant took to Twitter to respond to the Hall-of-Famer's criticism with one simple yet striking word, "Kneepads." Morant probably aimed to clap back at Barkley by pointing out his knee injury history, which significantly affected and ended his career. We assume that, because the Urban Dictionary alternative is a lot more filthy, and we are sure young Mr. Morant would never imply such a thing.
Regardless, Morant is averaging 7.0 assists on top of career-high 28.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game to start the season. It's only been a month into the brand-new NBA season, but it's already looking like Morant is on the verge of improving once again, and maybe soon enough, he'll prove to Barkley that he is indeed more than just a superstar who can get a shot whenever he wants.