Ja Morant will likely return to the court next week after going through the motions of crisis management. He stepped away from the Memphis Grizzlies, attended a vague "counseling program" and met with Adam Silver, who slapped the superstar point guard with an eight-game suspension without pay. It is retroactive, however, so the games Morant already missed count towards the suspension and he's eligible to return on Monday.
If Morant returns when he is eligible, less than three weeks will have passed since he went on Instagram with a gun at a strip club and everything blew up. Some, perhaps many, will feel that isn't nearly enough time for Morant to feel and show true remorse for his actions. Jay Williams spoke for that crowd on Thursday morning's edition of Keyshawn, JWill, & Max by calling Morant's public rehabilitation a "facade" yanked right from the athlete crisis handbook.
Williams is certainly on the nose with the path Morant followed as was laid out by athletes before him. The SportsCenter sit-down with Jalen Rose last night really hammered that home. No public redemption arc can be complete for any athlete until they sit across from a media personality and say they are sorry and won't do it again.
Now it's on Morant to stay out of trouble for long enough that everybody forgets this-- which shouldn't be too long given the playoffs kick off in a month. On the other hand, his decision-making has proven to be quite poor indeed from what we've heard recently. Let's see if he can pull it off.