There are many ways to describe Memphis Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant, but we can all agree that he’s arguably the most unstoppable scorer of his generation. That’s also the reason why he’s making waves in the NBA, but apparently, there’s more in Ja than meets the eye.
More than just a scorer
We’ve seen several players like Morant, who started out as an explosive scorer and later developed a high basketball IQ. However, the former No. 2 overall pick is certain he already had that in his arsenal, and perhaps people just don’t realize it.
“I can’t just be a one-sided player,” Morant told The Undefeated last year via Andscape. “I can’t just focus on scoring the ball all the time. I study the game. Study a lot of film. That has allowed me to have a high [basketball] IQ.”
As fans, we don’t really expect a lot of playmaking and shot-calling from floor generals such as Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, and Damian Lillard, as their primary role is to score. While it appears that Morant is also following that blueprint, the man himself stressed that he’s more systematic.
According to Morant, his ability to read the game has allowed him to always be one step ahead of both his teammates and the competition.
“I know what a lot of defenses are doing,” Morant pointed out. “Knowing what they are doing on offense is pretty much what I do. It allows me to be steps ahead on the floor. Being a point guard, I have to be able to tell our coach and our team what I see on the floor.”
Ja is telling it like it is
Ja’s father, Tee Morant, is hands-on. He’s been supportive of his son’s basketball career and has seen every bit of his progress from day 1. Attesting his son’s claim, Tee said Ja indeed “knows the other team’s play setups. He studies like no other.”
Grizzlies forward/center Jarren Jackson Jr. sees the same thing in Morant. Jackson said Morant had earned the coach’s trust to assess things and run the plays.
“[Morant] has to be our on-the-court coach,” Jackson told the same outlet. “Coach is going to tell him things to relay to us. He’s talking a lot. But even on the bench, [Morant is] sharing little things. At any given point, you can just go to him and ask him what he’s seeing. And we just talk about how the game is going, how it’s flowing, how they are playing him, and how they are playing me.”
All told, this only goes to show that Morant, at 23, is already a legitimate all-around player.