Since the 1920s, the Philadelphia Eagles have been one of the most successful franchises in NFL history. But since the early 2000s, the Eagles have been one of the worst teams in the league.
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Jah Morant created a large army of opponents early in his young NBA career. This is the price talented atheists must pay when they finally appear on the big stage. And the bad news for Morant? The more successful you are in the NBA, the more opponents you have.
But Morant is not afraid of his opponents. Instead, he uses it as motivation to become a better basketball player and prove everyone wrong. The star of the Memphis Grizzlies learned that killer mentality from his very first opponent, who happened to be his best friend and father, Tee Morant.
Most basketball players don’t know their first opponents until they get to the NBA and step into the spotlight for the first time, but that wasn’t the case with Morant. Growing up in Dalzell, South Carolina, Morant had to deal with a relentless hater in his own home.
T. Morant, Jah’s father, helped train him as a child and teenager. But all the while he was strict with his son to prepare him for the next level.
I really like the negative energy, Morant told reporter for the 2019 NBA Draft . He hasn’t played against anyone, he’s too small, he can’t shoot. I love negative energy. It motivates me. I don’t mind, because my father was my first apostate, so if I can accept it from him, I can accept it from anyone.
Instead of giving in to the pressure his father put on him as a child, Morant used his early hatred as motivation to work his way into the NBA. After doing so in 2019, he was named Rookie of the Year in 2020 and led the Grizzlies to the playoffs in 2021 in just his second season.
Despite all the success he’s had in his young career, Morant says his father remains 100% one of his biggest adversaries.
I think when I was voted Rookie of the Year, he said: Good job, but you still suck, Morant said in the latest episode of the Barstool Sports Pardon My Take podcast.
The 21-year-old said his father used to dominate him on the basketball court, but stopped playing after Morant became good enough to beat him.
He doesn’t want to play with me anymore, Morant said. I beat him last time. We had a game of kids against adults, and I scored the winning goal ….. When I got a little bigger and more athletic, he never played one-on-one against me.
He ran away from the smoke.
Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies warms up for Game 2 of the first round of the Western Conference playoffs against the Utah Jazz| Alex Goodlett/Getty Images
Some may think T’s parenting style was too harsh and detrimental to his son’s development, but Morant believes his father made him into the man and basketball player he is today. If his first critic hadn’t come down hard on him as a kid, Morant might never have made it to the NBA.
Morant’s father still doesn’t like to praise his son because he is constantly teaching him that there is always room for improvement. But what happens if Morant leads the Grizzlies to an NBA title? Maybe his dad will finally let go of the gas.
Not a chance, Morant said.
He would probably be delighted and then say: You still suck, but congratulations.
COMPARED TO: Jah Morant’s $17 million basketball career started with a visit to arestaurant