Stephen A. Smith Offers Tee Morant Parenting Advice: 'You're Not One of His Boys, You're His Dad'
An almost impressively long stretch of poor decisions has brought Ja Morant to a bit of a crossroads. He can take stock of the situation and decide he'd rather become the face of the NBA than throw it away. Or we can reconvene here in a few years and wonder what might have been had one of the most exciting young players on the planet had "gotten it."
Morant is taking some time away from the Memphis Grizzlies right now and there's no timetable for any return. The day is young so there's more time for TMZ to report something unfortunate that happened over the weekend.
Covering this type of stuff can be a bit challenging for the sports-debating shows. One can only imagine the tension in America's Jiffy Lube waiting rooms as Skip Bayless wandered into Crip-based discussion. Stephen A. Smith tried a different approach, comparing what Morant's situation to the early Allen Iverson days.
Then he offered Tee Morant, Ja's father, some parenting advice.
"Now in the case of pops, only thing, I'm not throwing any shade on somebody's parent or anything like that," Smith said. "I'm simply trying to highlight and illuminate to Tee Morant the importance of him being a dad. You raised him. You helped get him to this point. Make sure that you don't let anybody get in the way of what he is on the verge of accomplishing. Make sure you do your part to protect him instead of joining in to have a good time like you one of his boys. You're not one of his boys. You're his dad."
Someone needed to say it. We've seen Tee give a very animated interview. We've seen him get into it with Shannon Sharpe. At some point, someone in Ja's orbit needs to be the adult in the room. Which is an excellent spot for a dad to step in, even if there are no cameras present or celebrity to be gained from it.
Look, it must be insane to become this hot of a commodity this quickly. It must be crazy to have the eyes of the world on you and still be a 23-year-old dude who is going to make stupid mistakes. It's going to take a strong support system and commitment to maturity to come out of this with reputation intact. It will take a total team effort and the stakes are pretty significant.