The Grizzlies were dealt injury to insult late during Saturday night’s 142-112 Game 3 loss to the Warriors when star point guard Ja Morant limped off the floor with a right knee injury. The injury has come under scrutiny for the manner in which it occurred, as Warriors guard Jordan Poole looked to grab and yank Morant’s knee during a scramble for the ball shortly.
Afterward, Poole was adamant that the play was not intentional, and that he was not a dirty player. He wished Morant a speedy recovery.
“It was a basketball play when we doubled him,” Poole said, per ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk. “And I hit the ball, and I was going for the ball. I mean, obviously, you don’t want to see anybody get hurt. I’m not even that type of player. I respect everybody.”
The play and Morant’s injury has sparked renewed discussion and debate about “the code,” which was brought up by Warriors coach Steve Kerr after Memphis forward Dillon Brooks was issued a flagrant-2 against Golden State guard Gary Payton II on a play in which he pushed an airborne Payton. Payton fractured his elbow during the play, likely keeping him out for the rest of the postseason.
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After Game 3, Morant tweeted (and then deleted) a post saying “broke the code,” seemingly a reference to Kerr’s comments.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins declined to provide an update on Morant’s status afterwards, but hinted at a possible league review for the play involving Poole.
“He was going after a dribble and Jordan Poole actually grabbed his knee and yanked it,” Jenkins said. “Which kind of triggered whatever happened. … I’m actually going to be very curious to see what happens after that.”
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