College Football Player Collapses During Practice

A Utah State football player is recovering in the hospital after suffering “non-traumatic sudden cardiac arrest” during a spring practice session Thursday, the university announced Friday. 

Josh Davis, a redshirt freshman wideout from California, collapsed on the field and was taken to Logan Regional Hospital before later being transported to McKay-Dee Hospital. 

He was said to be in critical condition but was upgraded to fair condition the following morning. According to the school, he was “taken off life-sustaining medical devices and is breathing on his own.”

“Davis received initial critical treatment and was stabilized at Logan Regional Hospital before being transported to McKay-Dee Hospital, where their critical care team continued treatment with therapeutic hypothermia to lower the body temperature to preserve his neurological function,” the school said in a press release. 

The university later posted a photo of Davis in the hospital surrounded by his family as he gave a “thumbs up.” 

Head coach Blake Anderson visited Davis in the hospital and posted an update on Twitter. 

“The smiles say it all… it was a brutal night, but Josh never stopped fighting,” Anderson wrote.

“Through God’s grace, and an amazing group of Trainers & Medical Professionals we are doing better every minute today. So grateful for all the prayers & support lifted up over the past 24 hrs.”

NBA Legend, Willis Reed, Dies at 80

Willis Reed, who won two NBA championships during his legendary career with the New York Knicks, has died, according to the National Basketball Retired Players Association. He was 80.

Reed played 10 seasons in the NBA from 1964-74, all with the Knicks. He was named to the All-NBA team five times, made seven All-Star teams and won MVP in the 1969-70 season.

Undersized at the time for a center, Reed made up for it with his physicality on both ends, averaging nearly 19 points and 13 rebounds during his Hall of Fame career.

His most famous moment came during Game 7 of the 1970 NBA finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. After a thigh injury had sidelined him in the previous game, Reed shocked the Madison Square Garden crowd by walking onto the court during warmups.

He scored the Knicks’ first two field goals and went on to win Finals MVP as the Knicks won the franchise’s first championship. Reed was again named Finals MVP two seasons later after New York’s second title.

Reed’s career was cut short by injuries and he retired shortly after the second title run. He went on to briefly coach the Knicks before taking over at Creighton from 1981-85.

He eventually joined the New Jersey Nets in 1988, first as a coach and then as a member of the front office, helping to build the franchise into a championship contender in the early 2000s.

Original Article

Second NHL Player Declines to Wear Pride Jersey

San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer won’t take part in pregame warmups Saturday night, saying the team’s decision to wear Pride-themed jerseys in support of the LGBTQ community runs counter to his religious beliefs.

Reimer said in a statement Saturday that he made the decision based on his Christian beliefs, adding that he “always strived to treat everyone with respect” and that members of the LGBTQ community should be welcome in hockey.

“In this specific instance, I am choosing not to endorse something that is counter to my personal convictions, which are based on the Bible, the highest authority in life,” Reimer said.

Reimer is the second NHL player this season to refuse to take part in warmups with Pride-themed jerseys, with Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov declining to in January. Reimer was not slated to start in Saturday night’s home game against the New York Islanders, which is Pride night.

Additionally, the New York Rangers opted not to wear Pride jerseys or use Pride stick tape as part of their night in January despite previously advertising that plan.

The Sharks said in a statement that they are proud to host Pride Night, saying the event reinforces the team’s commitment to inclusiveness.

“As we promote these standards, we also acknowledge and accept the rights of individuals to express themselves, including how or whether they choose to express their beliefs, regardless of the cause or topic,” the team said in a statement. “As an organization, we will not waver in our support of the LGBTQIA+ community and continue to encourage others to engage in active allyship.”

The You Can Play Project, which works to promote inclusiveness in sports, said the organization was disappointed in Reimer’s actions.

“Religion and respect are not in conflict with each other, and we are certainly disappointed when religion is used as a reason to not support our community,” the organization said. “Wearing pride jerseys, like any celebration jersey worn, is not about the personal feelings of an athlete; rather the communication from the team that a community is welcome in the arena and the sport.”

Marc-Edouard Vlasic wears the Sharks’ Pride Night jersey during warmups on March 18, 2023.
NHLI via Getty Images

Sharks captain Logan Couture's Pride Night jersey.
Sharks captain Logan Couture’s wore the Pride Night jersey ahead of San Jose’s game against the Islanders.
NHLI via Getty Images

Troy Aikman Ripped Apart by Monday Night Football Crew Over Behavior

There’s apparently some beef brewing between Troy Aikman and crew members of the Monday Night Football production team.

Earlier this week, it was reported that Monday Night football director Jimmy Platt and producer Phil Dean were being replaced for Derek Mobley and Steve Ackels.

Monday Night Football crew members aren’t happy about losing Jimmy Platt and have begun to air out some behind-the-scenes dirty laundry.

While speaking to Awful Announcing, an anonymous MNF crew member complained that working with Aikman got off to a rocky start on week 1 because Aikman couldn’t figure out how to use ESPN’s telestrators.

“It all started week one, “He was dogging the crew and gear on the air when he couldn’t figure his telestrator out. He couldn’t figure it out because he shows up on game day. Didn’t practice. So before halftime, our director had already gotten operations to call someone at Fox, find out exactly what model he used for years prior, and had it shipped in for the next game”

Another crewmember bashed Aikman for showing up to games and leaving on his private plan without spending time with the crew.

“Troy travels on his private jet on Monday mornings and flies home after the game,” said a source. “He could not be further removed from the crew and I would confidently say that he knows maybe 10 people on a crew of like 150+ people.”

“Never came to a camera meeting. No crew outings. Nothing. You’d think someone who is going into a long-term, big-money contract at a new network would come in and try to make it home. Not at all,” said another source.”

After leaving Fox, Aikman became one of the highest-paid broadcasters when he signed a 5-year $90 million contract with ESPN.

With all that money maybe Aikman should buy his crew some dinner every now and then.

NFL Star was Beaten Before Psych Ward Death Says Family

The family of a onetime football prodigy who collapsed and died during a transfer from a Los Angeles county jail to a state-run psychiatric hospital earlier this year said on Tuesday they believe he was beaten by law enforcement officials prior to his death.

In court filings obtained by TMZ Sports, an attorney for the family accused Los Angeles County of “grossly misrepresenting the cause and circumstances of Stanley Wilson Jr.’s death.”

At a news conference on Tuesday, Wilson’s father said, “We just want the truth. It hurts really bad to bury your child.”

Stanley Wilson Jr. played for the Detroit Lions from 2005 to 2007 before tearing his Achilles tendon, an injury which ultimately cut short his career. His family described him as a charismatic and loving man whose life careened off the rails due to mental illness, including what they said was chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disorder caused by repeated blows to the head that can only be diagnosed posthumously.

The disease may have contributed to Wilson’s becoming withdrawn, anxious, and depressed, the family said Tuesday, and to a string of arrests that ended in August 2022, when police took him into custody on a trespassing charge.

“Due to his mental illness, the county found him not able to stand trial, not able to provide assistance to counsel,” explained John Carpenter, the Los Angeles-based attorney representing the family. He was held in Twin Towers Correctional Facility until his death in early February during the move to Metropolitan State Hospital.

Wilson’s mother, Dr. D. Pulane Lucas, said that county officials told her that her son had fallen out of a chair during the mental health facility’s intake process. The family elected to conduct a second autopsy, with Carpenter telling The Daily Beast in mid-February, “Early reports said ‘no suspicion of foul play.’ That is not the camp that we’re in.”

Now, according to Carpenter, photos of Wilson’s body are in “stark contrast to what we’ve been hearing,” indicating he may have been subjected to excessive force prior to his death. “There were fresh wounds to his forehead, which appear to have been caused by a shoe,” the attorney said, suggesting Wilson had either been kicked or stomped.

Additionally, ligature marks on his wrists suggest that Wilson may have been restrained by handcuffs during the time of the alleged assault, Carpenter said.

The family is seeking more than $45 million in damages in relation to three claims filed on behalf of Wilson’s mother, father, and estate.

New York Yankees Star, Joe Pepitone, Dies at 82

Joe Pepitone had star quality and a powerful left-handed swing built to succeed at Yankee Stadium, along with a slick fielding reputation as a first baseman.

A three-time American League All-Star by age 24, Pepitone’s brashness led to enough trouble – both within the game, and away from the diamond – that his baseball career is viewed in a what-might-have-been way.

A Brooklyn native, signed by the Yankees out of high school in 1958, Pepitone died Monday at age 82.

In a statement, the New York Yankees remembered Pepitone for his “playful and charismatic personality and on-field contributions’’ which “made him a favorite of generations of Yankees fans even beyond his years with the team in the 1960s.’’

Pepitone broke in with the world champion 1962 Yankees at age 21 and became an established regular on the pennant-winning 1963 and 1964 Yankees, managed by Ralph Houk.

Along with colorful tales of Pepitone being the first MLB player to bring a hairdryer into a big league clubhouse, or spending his entire signing bonus before he arrived at his first Yankees camp, were frictions with management and on-field incidents that marked his 12-year career.

After the 1969 season, Pepitone was traded by the Yankees to the Houston Astros for Curt Blefary.

Pepitone later played for Leo Durocher with the Chicago Cubs, and briefly with the Atlanta Braves. He had a mostly regrettable 14-game stay in the Japan Central League.

In a 1985 incident, Pepitone was arrested and later jailed four months on a narcotics charge. Ten years later, a DUI arrest in the Queens-Midtown Tunnel put Pepitone back in the headlines for the wrong reasons.

In a memoir, “Joe, You Coulda Made us Proud,’’ Pepitone chronicled his rough-and-tumble childhood, which included verbal and physical abuse, and his hard-partying, New York nightlife and celebrity circles.

Early in the 1980s, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner hired Pepitone as a minor league coach, which included the defensive education of future Yankees icon Don Mattingly.

Pepitone made it back in pinstripes for part of the 1982 season on the Yankees coaching staff.

“As a native New Yorker, he embraced everything about being a Yankee during both his playing career — which included three All-Star appearances and three Gold Gloves — and in the decades thereafter,’’ continued the Yankees’ statement Monday.

“You always knew when Joe walked into a room — his immense pride in being a Yankee was always on display.

“He will be missed by our entire organization, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him.”  

Original Article

NFL Star Patrick Mahomes’ Mother Pleads with Him to be ‘Wary’ 

Patrick Mahomes has cultivated a powerful reputation on the field. With two Super Bowl championships in his arsenal, the QB is on his way toward building a dynasty. However, the Chiefs star is beloved off the field as well. The father of two has also garnered a ‘family man’ reputation and has stayed out of controversy, letting his performance on the field do all the talking. But, despite the stardom, Mahomes still finds himself on the receiving end of his mother’s words of wisdom.

Randi Mahomes is undoubtedly a proud parent. Married to a former MLB pitcher, she was aware that her son would inherit his father’s athletic prowess. However, even though the Kansas City star is a fully grown man who has left the nest, Mrs Mahomes won’t be stopped from pointing him in the right direction. And a recent tweet from Randi in response to her son’s agent proved the same point.

Patrick Mahomes received an unusual request from his mother

Patrick Mahomes’ agent Leigh Steinberg is quite the orator on social media. His most recent video as part of a Twitter series titled ‘Wednesday Wisdom’ delved into the subject of avoiding conmen. 

A part of his monologue said, “So one of the things you can do is when something sounds too good to be true and the person presenting it sounds the same way, do some research, look into their background, see other projects that they might have been connected to, or understand who their friends are.” The NFL agent also explained how some individuals seem non-threatening and eventually show their true colors. But that’s not the surprising part.

@PatrickMahomes please listen to truth

— Randi Mahomes (@tootgail) March 11, 2023

Patrick Mahomes’ mother Randi quote tweeted Steinberg’s video with a surprising statement. Tagging her son, she said, “@PatrickMahomes please listen to truth.” However, the tweet has been removed now. Celebrities don’t often air out dirty laundry intentionally. And to add to the intrigue, Mrs Mahomes made another tweet about the video. Here’s what she said.

What’s going on with the Mahomes family?

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Patrick Mahomes hasn’t openly admitted to being a victim of any sort of scheme. Therefore his mother’s recent tweets may stir some curiosity among fans. If tagging her son and pleading with him to “see truth” wasn’t ominous enough, Randi Mahomes also revealed that she was familiar with the kind of situation Steinberg was referring to.

Thank you Leigh! Great wisdom. Personally understand this sadly all too well. @leighsteinberg

— Randi Mahomes (@tootgail) March 9, 2023

She said, “Thank you Leigh! Great wisdom. Personally understand this sadly all too well.” While the Mahomes family has been surrounded by controversy because of the QB’s younger brother Jackson, Randi Mahomes’ cryptic tweets have brought an added layer of intrigue to the situation. Will fans be made aware of the supposed problem? As of now, it is something that cannot be determined. 

NFL Receiver and Super Bowl Winner Otis Taylor Dies at 80

Otis Taylor, the longtime Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver who along with quarterback Len Dawson formed one of the NFL’s dynamic duos, died Thursday at the age of 80 after more than a decade of health problems. 

Taylor’s family, who had been caring for him as he dealt with Parkinson’s disease and dementia, confirmed that he had passed away a mere seven months after Dawson, his close friend and teammate.

Taylor spent all 10-plus years of his career in Kansas City, where he was a fourth-round pick out of Prairie View A&M in the 1965 AFL draft. He went on to have two 1,000-yard seasons during an era in which the passing game was still evolving, and he finished his career with 7,306 yards and 57 touchdown catches.

‘Otis made my job easy,’ Dawson once said. ‘If you got the pass to Otis, you knew he’d catch it.’

Taylor is perhaps best remembered for the 46-yard touchdown pass in the 1970 Super Bowl that clinched the Chiefs’ victory over the Vikings. 

He was part of two AFL championship teams, was voted to the Pro Bowl after the AFL-NFL merger in 1971 and 1972 and was inducted into the Chiefs’ ring of honor in 1982.

Yet for all the plaudits during his playing days, Taylor continually came up short of enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was a senior finalist this past year but failed to make it through to the final round of voting.

Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement Friday: ‘The Kansas City Chiefs organization is saddened by the passing of Otis Taylor. 

‘My family and I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Otis’ wife Regina, his sister Odell and the entire Taylor family as we mourn his passing. 

‘Otis was a Chief throughout his 11-year career, and he played an integral part in the early success of our franchise. 

‘He became a Kansas City icon with his signature touchdown in Super Bowl IV, as he helped the Chiefs bring home our first Lombardi Trophy. 

‘He was one of the most dynamic receivers of his era, and he helped revolutionize the position. 

‘Off-the-field, he was kind and dedicated to his community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. Otis’ legacy will live forever as a member of the Chiefs Hall of Fame.’

Chiefs paid tribute to Taylor on Friday with chairman and CEO Clark Hunt releasing statement

Taylor was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and associated dementia in 1990, and in 2012, his family filed a lawsuit against the NFL claiming it was legally responsible for health issues he experienced beginning with seizures in 1969.

Bedridden and largely unable to talk in recent years, the lawsuit sought financial help for his care, overseen for more than a decade by his sister, Odell, a licensed vocational nurse, along with his wife Regina and son, Otis Taylor III.

After his playing days and before his health problems, Taylor spent 11 years as a scout for the Chiefs.

He found himself at the center of another controversy in 1987, when NFL players had gone on strike. 

Taylor was arriving to Arrowhead Stadium for work when Jack Del Rio, who had just been traded to the team, mistook him for a replacement player and attacked him. Taylor pressed charges against Del Rio, now the defensive coordinator of the Washington Commanders, and the two settled out of court.

NBA Legend Shawn Kemp Arrested After Alleged Drive-By Shooting

Six-time NBA All-Star Shawn Kemp, one of the most high-profile players in Seattle Supersonics history, reportedly was arrested in Tacoma, Washington, on Wednesday and charged with a drive-by shooting.

The Tacoma police department tweeted that a 53-year-old man was “booked for Drive-By Shooting” after shots were fired following an altercation between occupants of two cars in a parking lot at 1.58pm Pacific time.

Pierce County inmate records show that Shawn Travis Kemp booked into jail on a drive-by shooting charge at 5.58pm.

Shawn Kemp the former basketball player is 53 and his middle name is Travis. Multiple outlets subsequently corroborated the report.

The local Fox affiliate KCPQ-TV, citing sources close to the former NBA star, reported that Kemp had property stolen from his car on Tuesday, tracked his iPhone to Tacoma on Wednesday, was fired upon when he approached a vehicle, then fired back in self-defense.

Drafted by Seattle out of Trinity Valley Community College in Texas with the 17th overall pick in 1989, Kemp played the first eight of his 14 career NBA seasons for the Sonics. He was an All-Star six straight seasons and three times made the All-NBA second team.

Shawn Kemp

Known for his ability to fly high above the rim and throw down thunderous dunks, Kemp averaged 14.6 points over his career (16.2 with Seattle). He also averaged 8.4 rebounds, 9.6 with the Sonics.

After playing in Seattle, Kemp spent three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, two with the Portland Trail Blazers and one with the Orlando Magic, in his final season in 2002-03.

In 2005, Kemp was arrested in Seattle and charged with marijuana and cocaine possession in his truck.

In 2020, Kemp was among a group who opened Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis, a marijuana dispensary in Seattle.

NBA Star Punches Teen and Threatens Security

Ja Morant is among the brightest young stars in the NBA, with a new signature Nike shoe, a top-selling jerseyand a team, the Memphis Grizzlies, poised for a deep postseason run. But in a string of incidents dating from last summer, Morant and people close to him have been accused of threatening and even violent behavior, according to previously unreported police records obtained by The Washington Post.

Last summer, in an encounter that has not been previously reported, the head of security at a Memphis mall told police that Morant “threatened” him during an altercation in the parking lot, leaving him alarmed enough that he filed a police report. A member of Morant’s group shoved the director in the head, he told police. No arrests were made, records show.

Four days later, Morant repeatedly punched a teenage boy in the head during a pickup basketball game at Morant’s house, the boy told police. Morant and his friend struck the 17-year-old so hard they knocked him to the ground and left him with a “large knot” on the side of his head, according to a police report narrative written by deputies who said they observed the boy’s injuries.

The teenager told detectives from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office that, after the fight, Morant went into his house and re-emerged with a gun visible in the waistband of his pants and his hand on the weapon, according to police interviews obtained by The Post, which have not previously been reported.

In an interview with police, Morant said he acted in self-defense. “I swung first,” he told detectives, but he believed the boy had been the aggressor because he threw a ball at Morant’s head and then stepped toward him, pulling up his pants. “The ball was to me the first hit,” Morant told police.

During the interview, detectives mentioned the boy’s allegation that Morant flashed a gun but did not ask Morant whether it was true.

Morant told police that as the boy left, he shouted, “I’m gonna come back and light this place up like fireworks.” Weeks after the incident, according to records obtained by The Post, Morant filed a police report about the boy’s comment, saying the teenager had threatened his family.

Prosecutors reviewed the case but declined to file charges, the Shelby County District Attorney said in a statement. The office “decided that there was not enough evidence to proceed with a case,” a spokesperson said.

Neither incident was made public at the time. Morant, 23, began this season strong, starting in the recent NBA All-Star Game and leading the Grizzlies to the second-best record in the Western Conference. But he was drawn into public controversy in recent weeks when the NBA investigated an allegation that someone in Morant’s vehicle pointed the laser sight of a gun toward members of the Indiana Pacers organization.

In a statement, Morant’s agent, Jim Tanner, characterized the allegations as “unsubstantiated rumors and gossip” and said they were “put out by people motivated to tear Ja down and tarnish his reputation for their own financial gain.” The boy and his mother filed a lawsuit against Morant over the incident, his family attorney confirmed. The existence of the suit, which is under seal, was reported earlier this year by TMZ.

“Any and every allegation involving a firearm has been fully investigated and could not be corroborated. This includes the NBA investigation last month, in which they found no evidence,” Tanner said. The incident with the teenage boy, Tanner said, “was purely self-defense. Again, after this was fully investigated by law enforcement, they came to the decision not to charge Ja with any crime.”

The Grizzlies declined to comment. An NBA spokesperson said the league “takes allegations of inappropriate conduct very seriously.” Teams are required to report “incidents involving players and law enforcement,” the spokesperson said, but he would not say whether the Grizzlies reported either of the July 2022 incidents or whether the NBA had investigated.

The league’s investigation of the allegation involving the Pacers “did not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon,” the spokesperson said.

A call from the mall

Morant is known for highflying dunks, a thirst for trash talk and a tightknit relationship with his father, Tee, who sits courtside at many games. His family has become so much a part of Morant’s brand that Tee Morant narrated the commercial launching his son’s latest major brand deal, with Powerade.

Ja Morant was one of the stars of last year’s playoffs before the Grizzlies lost a heated series with the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. Two months after the loss to Golden State, Morant’s mother was at a Finish Line shoe store at a Memphis mall when she got in a dispute with a store employee, according to a Memphis Police report obtained by The Post. She called Morant, who arrived shortly after with a group of as many as nine other people.

Confronted by the director of mall security, Morant and his friends refused the security guard’s demands to leave the mall parking lot. Police arrived and a “verbal confrontation” escalated, the report says, until someone in the group allegedly pushed the security director in the head.

“As the group was leaving the premises … Ja Morant said, ‘Let me find out what time he gets off,’ ” police wrote in the report.

The guard wanted to file a report, police wrote, “because he felt threatened by the statement from Ja Morant” and had been assaulted by the person who had pushed him. The “disturbing parties left the scene,” and no arrests were made.

The Grizzlies, NBA and Morant’s agent did not respond to questions about the incident. The security guard declined to comment.

‘I swung first’

Less than a week later, Morant, as he often did, hosted an evening pickup basketball game at his family home, a sprawling brick mansion on the edge of Memphis. His parents and sister were there, as was Mike Miller, a former NBA player.

Among the players on the gated court was a talented local high-schooler who, he would later tell police, considered Morant a mentor. Though the police records identify the boy, The Post is not naming him to protect the privacy of a juvenile.

He had been invited to the games before, the 17-year-old said in the police interview, but he still found himself entranced by Morant: “He was doing some amazing things, and I was just impressed,” the teenager said to police. “I’m playing against an all-star, you know?”

The teenager drew the task of guarding one of the world’s most electric scorers. When Morant threw the ball hard at the boy’s chest as he attempted to check it in, the boy threw it back just as hard. The ball “slipped through [Morant’s] hands,” the teenager said, and it hit Morant’s chin.

The teenager told police Morant then put his chin on the boy’s shoulder and asked his friend, “Do I do it to him?” The friend responded, “Yeah, do it.”

Morant then punched the boy in his jaw, the boy told police, and without warning, the friend struck him on the other side. “I fell to the ground, trying to cover my face, so I wouldn’t get hit in the face,” the boy told police. “I got, started getting hit, punched in my head, everything else.”

“Ja hit me like 12 to 13 times,” the boy said, adding that the friend struck him four or five times. When police asked the boy how hard the punches landed, he compared them to an MMA bout.

After the men were pulled off him, the boy told police, Morant went inside and the boy got up to leave. As the boy was going to his car, he said, Morant “came outside with his gun.” It was tucked into his pants, the boy said, and though he didn’t pull it out, the boy said he saw Morant put his hand on it.

“His dad was yelling at him, like: ‘No, no, no. Go back. Go back in the house,’ ” the boy told police.

In the interview with Morant, transcripts show, police brought up the boy’s allegation that Morant had emerged from the house “brandishing” the gun but did not directly ask him whether it occurred. Neither Morant nor his attorneys denied the claim at the time, the records show. Miller, Morant’s father and several other people said to be there that day did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The day of the altercation, the boy’s mother filed a police report and had him checked out by paramedics. She took him to the hospital the next day, she told police, after he had trouble sleeping that night.

Police talked to Morant in early September, two weeks after they recorded a statement from the boy, the records show.Morant said the boy had been the aggressor because he threw the ball at Morant’s head, trying to hit him with it, then took a step toward Morant and pulled his pants up, which Morant took as a sign that the boy was “wanting to fight.”

“Like all right, now I have to protect myself, so,” Morant explained to police. When a detective asked him whether the boy had swung at him, Morant said, “I swung first,” then added, “The ball was the first swing to me.”

Morant’s attorneys produced sworn affidavits from witnesses who, in similar language, alleged that the boy had thrown the ball at Morant and “did not apologize” after it struck him and that he “squared up” Morant’s direction. The witnesses all said that Morant had struck the boy first. None of them mentioned a gun.

According to the police report, when detectives tried to interview the witnesses themselves, they either didn’t show up or otherwise weren’t available.

Nearly two weeks after the altercation, on Aug. 8, Morant and his family filed a police report about the boy allegedly saying he would “come back and light this place up like fireworks.” In that police report, Morant and several family members told police they believed the boy would return and shoot them, “putting [Ja] Morant and his family in fear.”

The teenager and his mother sued Morant and his longtime friend, Davonte Pack, in September, according to Rebecca Adelman, the family’s attorney in the case. The lawsuit, which is ongoing, was immediately sealed, concealing it from the public eye. The suit was first reported by TMZ in January. Adelman declined to make the teenager available for an interview.

In an interview with police, a transcript shows, one of Morant’s attorneys, who did not respond to a request for comment from The Post, said the boy’s mother demanded millions of dollars from Morant after the incident. “The first thing we got was a $20 million demand. This is a shakedown,” he said. The boy’s mother has a history of filing lawsuits that have eventually been dismissed, court records show, including a discrimination lawsuit against the city’s fire department and a lawsuit against her children’s school district after she said they were bullied on a school bus.

The police report does not name Morant’s “best friend,” who the boy said had punched him on the other side of the jaw. But a person familiar with the lawsuit, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it was under seal, said the friend was Pack, a childhood friend of Morant’s who is also named in the family’s lawsuit. Pack could not be reached for comment.

Pack had been a staple at Grizzlies games, frequently sitting courtside alongside Morant’s father. After Morant found himself in the middle of an argument during a game against the Pacers in January, Pack stood and walked onto the court himself.

Pack shouted expletives at Pacers players, the Athletic reported, until an official intervened and Pack was escorted off the floor. Later that night, the Athletic reported, the altercation continued outside the arena, where members of Morant’s entourage confronted members of the Pacers near the team’s bus. After Morant got into an SUV, a red laser was trained at members of the team from inside the car, the Athletic reported, prompting a member of the Pacers’ security team to say, “That’s 100 percent a gun.”

The NBA investigated, including by reviewing security footage, and said it “could not corroborate that any individual threatened others with a weapon.”

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