Tee Morant, father of Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant, had an ugly run-in with Utah Jazz fans during their first-round series, but that apparently didn't spoil his feelings about his son's opponents.
The Jazz eliminated the Grizzlies in five games on Wednesday, ending a series that made headlines when three Utah fans were indefinitely banned for heckling Morant's family during Game 2. After Game 5, Tee Morant was seen exchanging words with Jazz star Donovan Mitchell.
His words, via ESPN's Tim MacMahon:
"Hey yo, I'm going for y'all right now. Why? Y'all didn't have to do that. Y'all didn't have to show love to us like that.
"This is what I'm saying: When s*** goes bad and then you reach out, that's how you bridge the gap. Most people don't realize that. That's why I appreciate you, and that's why I hope the Jazz win the championship."
Morant and some family members were in attendance after receiving an all-expenses paid trip and courtside seats from the Jazz, though his wife Jamie declined the invite.
The Game 2 incident involving the Morants was one of around a half-dozen incidents involving bad behavior from fans during the playoffs. One of the three banned fans allegedly told Tee Morant "I'll put a nickel in your back and watch you dance, boy," while two others made ugly comments about his wife. Tee also claimed to have heard fans calling the family of Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks "half-breeds."
Morant did report positive interactions with fans as well, though. One report from McMahon indicated that he and some other Jazz fans had been exchanging good-natured trash talk during Game 2, and the family reported nothing but good interactions during Game 5.
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