NBA Star Ja Morant Wins Self-Defense Case After Heated Basketball Altercation


On a balmy day in 2022, beneath the towering pecan trees of Tennessee, a furious encounter took place on a full-size basketball court nestled in the backyard of an NBA guard’s family home. The heated grudge match between Ja Morant, a two-time NBA All-Star for the Memphis Grizzlies, and Joshua Holloway, a seventeen-year-old high school player then, escalated into a physical altercation, resulting in accusations and consequent legal complexities.

On Monday, Shelby County Court Circuit Judge, Carol Chumney, came down heavily in favor of Morant, invoking Tennessee Self-defense law, thereby underscoring the presumption that Morant’s actions were steeped in the need for self-preservation rather than malevolent intent.

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In her compelling ruling, Judge Chumney made clear that only those who pick a fight should be ready to bear the repercussions and that Holloway was ostensibly the instigator among a group merely seeking to enjoy a benign game of basketball.

Testimony during the trial came from the mouth of Mike Miller, a former talent from the NBA circuit, once a high flier himself, who found himself in the center of the whirlwind during that fateful day. The judge’s ruling quoted Miller’s eyewitness account of Holloway striking Morant on the face with a basketball, a move that “ignited the fuse,” so to speak.

Furthermore, the evidence duly backed up that specific version of events, with none available to dispute it, upholding Morant’s innocence — as per the judge’s written account.

To provide context, Holloway had instigated a lawsuit against Morant, accusing him of blatant assault during that very pickup game that happened on July 26, 2022. Invited to partake in the game at the private court of the Morant family, Holloway is a basketball player presently on the roster for Samford.

Morant had maintained a stance of self-preservation throughout the trial, arguing that Holloway fired the basketball at him through a one-handed, baseball-style pass, striking him on the face during a check-ball situation. A “check” is a standard protocol in pickup games, where opposing players exchange passes, primarily to verify whether the teams are ready to perform.

In another twist to this spectacle, Davonte Pack, Morant’s playmate from his younger days, found himself in the crosshairs as an additional defendant. Pack openly confessed to punching Holloway, which led to him crumpling onto the dewy grass. While Morant dodged criminal charges, Pack wasn’t as fortunate as he was slapped with a misdemeanor assault charge, later dismissed.

The fulcrum of the court proceedings centered on Morant’s appeals to invoke the shield of the Tennessee “stand your ground” law. This law provides an umbrella of protection for those who feel endangered on their private properties, offering them the right to act in self-defense. Morant’s legal eagles argued that their client was above reproach, emphasizing his right to respond forcefully under such threatening circumstances at his home.

Further light was shed on the degree of Holloway’s access to the Morant household, given his permission to indulge in activities such as watching TV, playing video games, and helping himself to food.

Morant, now 24, has had a tumultuous year, with a video clip of him brandishing a handgun causing a substantial uproar, resulting in a 25-game suspension at the turn of the season. To add insult to injury, a labrum tear in his right shoulder incapacitated him, spelling an abrupt end to his season and necessitating surgical intervention.

Ever the sportsman, Morant humbly apologized for the incidents, showing his true character off the court, an aphorism of timely regret for a year that began in turmoil and ended in triumph in the court of law.