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Morant and Jackson meet the press as All-Stars

Terry Davis

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — As the NBA held its All-Star Media Day on Saturday, it was audibly apparent that Memphis’ Ja Morant has carved out his place among the league’s biggest stars. The Grizzlies’ charismatic point guard generated one of the loudest rounds of cheers when introduced as a Western Conference All-Stars during the open practice.

The first player interviewed by TNT’s Dennis Scott after the introductions, Morant, who is making his second straight All-Star appearance, drew one of the larger congregations of media to his platform during the post-practice interview sessions. Media reps – national and international – wanted to know all sorts of things about Moran and his rise to stardom.

Who would he want for entertainment?

Michael Jackson, Chris Brown and Beyoncé, Morant said.

His favorite three rappers?

YoungBoy, Lil Baby and Moneybagg Yo.

If he was on a desert island, which teammate would he want?

“Steven Adams. I want everybody to know he is my bodyguard.

TNT’s Dennis Scott interviews Ja Morant live on court. (Photo: Terry Davis/The New Tri-State Defender)

And, of course, a question about his signature shoe, Nike Ja 1. Which color did he like best?

The black. “Those joints be flooded up,” said, who was very noticeably studded with diamonds

Ja Morant sporting the new Ja 1 in black. (Photo: Terry Davis/The New Tri-State Defender)

Introduced for All-Star Weekend, the black-colored signature shoe was available to those in attendance as long as the supply lasted. It will be available to the public in April, just in time for the playoffs.

When did he know (teammate) Jaren (Jackson Jr.) would be an All-Star?

“From the jump,” said Morant. “Once I got drafted, I had to do my research. I knew he would be here.”

There was a question about the young male giraffe – named with Ja Morant in mind – that the Memphis Zoo shipped to the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, coincidentally just ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft.

Did he leave tickets for Ja Raffe?

“I didn’t have to. He will just come in. He is going to kick the door down.”

His favorite NBA memory?

Scoring 52 points (against the Spurs on March 1, 2022).

Morant and Jackson were near each other for their interview sessions, with Morant flowing some shoutouts to his first-time All-Star teammate.

Jackson, who has developed a rep as one of the better-dressed players in the league, took in the All-Star vibes, clearly relishing the opportunity to display one of many All-Star weekend outfits.

Asked about his favorite NBA moment, Jackson said it was his father winning the NBA title with the Spurs in 1999. Jackson was born September 15th of that year.

Voted a vice president of the NBA Players Association, Jackson will serve a three-year term.

“I’ve seen a lot of things being in the league. I’ve seen a lot of vets come through. I think I know what the youth is thinking, and getting them to meetings.”

Jaren Jackson Jr. fields questions during media day. (Photo: Terry Davis/The New Tri-State Defender)

As for the feeling of being part of the All-Star game, Jackson said, “The most important thing about this whole thing is bringing your people out and bringing your family out … so you’ve got the memories. I’ve got all my boys here and we’re just moving.

“Then my mom and my dad. It’s great. It’s something you really can’t put into words. But the main thing is just having your family around you and (people) that you love.”


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