Jaren Jackson Jr. Discusses Team Dynamics Amid Ja Morant's Absence

Grizzlies confront historic challenges during injury-laden season

by Nouman Rasool
Jaren Jackson Jr. Discusses Team Dynamics Amid Ja Morant's Absence
© Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies had a very difficult year; they had one of the most injury-riddled campaigns in NBA history. In a season that is barely nine games old, their superstar, Ja Morant, has been missing in action, leaving the Grizzlies completely shell-shocked.

Jaren Jackson Jr. appeared on "Inside the NBA" to give insights on how the Grizzlies have adapted to a world without Morant. "It's a testament to our coaching," said Jackson. "He really instilled a lot of confidence in me and in the team.

He was very straightforward with the reality we were facing, but he was also saying we had a great opportunity. For the younger guys, it was an opportunity to really establish themselves, maybe solidify that they could be part of the team in coming years." Jackson has assumed a significantly larger role in Morant's absence, a responsibility that hasn't come without its challenges.

"There've been some turnovers on my part. With the ball mostly in my hands, I've had a few, but our coach supports a learning environment. He has allowed me to navigate through the mistakes and find my footing," he said.

Grizzlies' Season of Growth

This has been a season of learning for the Grizzlies—an emphasis on resilience and adaptability.

Jackson put added emphasis on learning from this, especially the pain of having to watch the playoffs from home. "We got to remember this feeling," Jackson said, emphatically. "A healthy season in the NBA is never promised. We can't take our opportunities for granted." It's an experience with the Grizzlies that most certainly, with lessons learned in the face of hardship, will help to craft an approach likely to go on and foster a culture of perseverance and readiness.

This year was about growth—for Jackson, his fellow players—and a harsh reminder that every moment on the floor should be cherished. Now, as the Grizzlies move forward in preparation for next season, the imperative, of course, is to capitalize on every opportunity and remember the lessons of this tumultuous season.

The key will be adaptability in the face of adversity for the team, striving to come back better, hopefully with a much healthier lineup, and making a deeper run at the playoffs in the future.

Ja Morant Grizzlies