Right from the jump, Ja Morant already took the NBA by storm. His incredible athleticism and versatility ultimately made him arguably the best-scoring point guard in the league at the moment. But like any other NBA star, Morant also had his first idols, players after whom he modeled his game growing up.
That’s why Ja is fearless
In an appearance on “The Pivot” podcast last year, the Memphis Grizzlies guard was asked which NBA superstars inspired him. Morant has always been fond of watching scoring point guards go toe-to-toe with bigger guys on the court, so he grew up shaping his game from former Philadelphia 76ers superstar and four-time NBA scoring champ Allen Iverson. Morant added that in the modern era, Russell Westbrook was the player he admired the most.
“AI [Iverson] was pretty much my number one, then I became a huge Russ [Westbrook] fan. Like I said, we going to let you hear about it. We’re coming straight at no matter who you is,” Morant said.
AI acknowledged it
In all fairness to Morant, he is being true to his word. It didn’t take long before people saw the resemblance of his game to that of a prime Iverson.
The agility, durability, and, above all, the relentless all-around scoring ability – the similarities between Morant and AI are notable. However, what “The Answer” acknowledged the most was the “attitude.”
According to the man himself, he and Morant are the same in terms of being fearless on the court, and they both walk around the borderline between “cocky” and “confident.”
“Not game-wise. But attitude? I would say Ja Morant [was similar to me],” Iverson said. “He has no fear and you can tell he has an attitude of not being cocky but confident. He just sent a signed jersey to my crib, too, so we cool.”
There is no question that Morant appears to be on course to become the new Iverson of the NBA as far as being the league’s best scorer. His scoring has been consistently and significantly improving. Last season, he earned his well-deserved first All-Star appearance and finished the campaign with a staggering career-best 27.4 points per game.
This season is no different. If anything, Morant indicates he’s going for another MVP-like run with the Grizzlies this year. Morant racked up a whopping 35.4 points per outing in his first four games on an incredibly efficient 54.8% shooting. Let’s see how things would play out for the rest of this season.