Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is well-known for talking that big talk on and off the court, but that doesn’t mean new outlets get to misquote the NBA star and make it sound like he’s disrespecting arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.
That’s why David Jacoby, host of ESPN’s This Just In, has apologized for reading on the show Monday a fake quote attributed to Morant, who was accused of saying Michael Jordan would be considered “just another superstar” if he were playing today. The thing Morant never said was supposedly said during an hour-long interview with sports journalist Taylor Rooks.
Now, y’all know this is a Jordan “…and I took that personally” moment waiting to happen.
Not only did Morant not say Jordan would have been “just another superstar,” but he mostly said the opposite thing.
From USA Today:
The conversation shifted to Morant not getting a chance to speak to Jordan at the All-Star Game during the NBA 75 presentation. Morant said that if he had spoken to Jordan, he would have thanked the former Bulls legend.
“Feel like he is the reason a lot of people want to play the game of the basketball,” Morant said.
“I wish I played in his generation,” Morant said seconds later. “How he goes about the game, that mindset he had, I would like to play against him.”
“I would have cooked him too. Nobody has more confidence than 12,” Morant told Rooks after a question about how Morant would have fared against Jordan. “I’m never going to say that somebody is going to beat me one-on-one in anything. I don’t care what it is, what sport it is. Soccer — who is the best player in soccer? C’mon, we can play.”
So Morant may have let his massive competitive side show through at the end there, but that’s a far cry from the accusation that he denied Jordan’s status as an NBA legend.
As journalists, we got to be more responsible than this.