Over the last seven months, Ja Morant has ascended to the rim, the top of the NBA and the apex of basketball culture.
Since being drafted second overall and joining the league three years ago, few players have accepted the challenge of getting a bucket with more creativity, energy and excitement than the Memphis Grizzlies young superstar.
The 22-year-old guard leads the NBA in points scored in the paint, with Giannis Antetokounmpo, Nikola Jokic, LeBron James and Anthony Davis rounding out the top 5 in the category.
Ja is the only guard in the top 10 for points scored in the paint per game. It’s fitting, of course, that his newest NBA Top Shot Moment, which you can earn now by completing the Extra Spice Challenge, is a majestic 360 degree layup that captures him levitating through the paint for two points with his unique brand of controlled and graceful chaos.
Ja’s Extra Spice Moment was awarded the “Spiciest Moment” of the set, earning 16,834 votes from his fans in our community across a dominating performance through the first round to the championship matchup.
Add “Extra Spice King” to the growing list of accolades Ja Morant has received so far in his young career. The 2019-20 Rookie of the Year is on the cusp of being awarded with 2021-22 Most Improved Player of the Year honors, months after making his first NBA All-Star Game, and the Memphis Grizzlies are closing in on their winningest season in team history.
After surprising the Golden State Warriors last year with an overtime play-in tournament victory, led by Ja’s heroics to make their first playoff appearance in four years, this year’s young, hungry and well-balanced Grizzlies team find themselves trailing only the Phoenix Suns for most wins in the NBA, and poised for a deep NBA Playoff run.
Dillon Brooks, Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr., De'Anthony Melton, Brandon Clarke, Tyus Jones, Ziaire Williams, Kyle Anderson, Steven Adams, John Konchar and Xavier Tillman all play their part in making Memphis such a success.
One can only fantasize about the spectacular highlights Ja and company will create in the NBA Playoffs as the Grizzlies continue this amazing season, and we’re excited to send Grizzlies fans to every one of those home games so they can marvel at Ja’s beautiful brand of basketball in-person, front and center as witness to NBA moments as they become NBA Top Shot Moments.
Ja Morant’s Series 3 campaign is one for the history books.
His game has been recognized by Kevin Durant.
His internet-breaking block cemented forever in his lore as a Legendary Moment.
His absurdly athletic buzzer-beater off a 94-foot inbounds pass is captured as a Rare Moment to celebrate his career-best and franchise-record 52-point performance.
His first NBA All-Star Game selection, where he received the third-most votes of any guard and sixth-most of any player, documented for the history books with a Rare and effortless alley-oop 360 dunk.
According to Jon Jackson, a popular data analyst in the NBA Top Shot community, only 116 Ja Morant Moments have ever been sent to the The Locker Room, equivalent to 0.08% of his total Moment supply on the platform, and the third smallest percentage of any player (behind Lonzo and LaMelo Ball). A testament to Ja’s popularity, Jackson has observed that Morant Moments have the most transactions (relative to mint count) in Top Shot’s peer-to-peer Marketplace than any other NBA player in Series 3.
His Series 3 collection of Moments reflects his incredible achievements throughout this transcendent year across all levels of scarcity and collectibility, but at NBA Top Shot, Ja Morant has been a part of our cultural conversation since the beginning.
One of the most coveted Series 1 Moments is Ja’s Top Shot Debut and first Rookie Moment, a viral poster-worthy dunk over Aron Baynes in December 2019 that was the focal point of an equally viral article about a “$35,000 video you can find all over the internet” by a member of the NBA Top Shot community.
Ja Morant is special. There is no denying that. What he’s achieved, from unranked high school prospect to Rookie of the Year to playoff underdog to now, seemingly, unstoppable force at an individual and team level, has been truly spectacular. A breath of fresh air from the Grit N’ Grind era of defense-focused Memphis Grizzlies basketball, Ja personifies the mantra of #NBATopShotThis every time he touches the court.
We’re proud to be a conduit for Ja’s story, and the Memphis Grizzlies triumphant progression under his leadership.
NBA Top Shot is where fans come to celebrate their favorite players and collect the highlights that define their professional journey.
Here are some of NBA Top Shot’s biggest Ja Morant fans and collectors, on their love and fandom for Ja, and what makes him so special:
It's funny because you could see it building with Ja even from his rookie year - not so much highlight plays but what I'd call *magnetic* plays. Plays that elevate teammates more than just elevate an individual. I think this season has been a culmination of that impact on top of what might actually be historically good talent in terms of 1 to 15 on the roster. As a collector, my first purchase in the marketplace in Jan 2021 was the Morant dunk on Baynes (arguably a Top 3 moment in Series 1), so it's beyond cool when "your" guy essentially IS the talk of Top Shot (especially being in a smaller market). It's already had a pretty tangible impact as well... we've got our own Grizzlies Top Shot group (shoutout #GrzGng ... Grizz collectors, find us on Discord!) that has people from literally all over the world, sharing in our appreciation for what Ja has been able to do with this team, what this Grizzlies team has been able to do in the NBA, and what NBA Top Shot has been able to do with hoops fans around the globe - connect us. —TS: chugsnbugs
I fell in love with Ja's game in 2019 watching him become a leader for Murray State. He is one of the most electric, can't take your eyes off players I had ever seen. This year has been the same old Ja, crazy dunks, insane blocks, he is a human highlight reel. One he gets the ball in his hands and a full head of steam I get that feeling something crazy is about to happen, and more often than not, it does. That's just who Ja is and has been all year, a dominant force on the court and an entertainer for the masses. — TS: itsMG
Ja's season has been incredible. He has turned the Grizzlies into must-see TV and has had more jaw-dropping plays this season than most will have in a career, and he does it all while having a great time out there and supporting his teammates. Ja is one of the best examples of what makes Top Shot moments better than static images; you can't capture his energy, athleticism, creativity and joy for the game in a photo. #TeamJa and proud #1 holder of Ja TSDs. —TS: mbl267
In two decades of the NBA in Memphis, Ja is our first transcendent superstar. He’s NBA Jam meets Grit & Grind — Throwdowns meets Hustle & Show [Flow]. These next-gen Grizzlies hype each other up like a high school team, and that joyful energy starts with Ja’s leadership. In an era of sell-out stars, Ja is selling a new vision of winning: small market, big swagger. He’ll have you jumping off the couch 5 times a night, grabbing your phone for a replay, convincing yourself that Top Shot was really created just for him because cardboard simply can’t do Ja justice. Ja’s got next. – TS: memphisgrizzlies
The first play I remember falling in love with on Top Shot was the Ja Morant Hustle and Show reward oop. Ja is the owner of many of the best plays on the platform, dunks, lay ups, blocks, handles, you name it. To me, he is everything that an NBA star should be. He changed the identity of the Memphis Grizzlies, making them a legitimate force in the NBA and giving hope to small market team fans around the league. His ability to continually make highlight play after highlight play leaves fans on the edge of their seats nightly. If there is a Grizzlies game on TV, you better believe, you aren’t turning it off. – TS: chumba00
It's 2019 and I can finally hold my own in NBA trivia against my 8 year old…. so he moves to college players and instantly starts talking about this kid (sounds funnier coming from a kid) from Murray State – Ja Morant. Dad, “IYKYK”, or as we now say in our house “If Ja Know Ja Know” — #IJKJK. I pity the NBA Top Shot team having to pick which Moments to mint. When you think of sets like Hustle & Show, Throwdowns or Extra Spice you can’t not think about a highlight of Ja. In fact — You could fill an entire set just with plays from this season. Ja is the total showman package, blocks at one end and gravity defying dunks at the other – collecting his moments is easy. The “Grail Moment” for me right now is his S1 TSD, but quietly hoping to snag a moment of him pulling a perfect 50 and winning the 2023 Dunk Contest…. IJKJK – TS: j0rd0
The Memphis Grizzlies are who they are because of the city of Memphis. They don’t just represent the city, they are the city come-to-life on a basketball court. The people of Memphis are underdogs. They are dedicated, nose-to-the-grindstone kind of people, loyal to those in their circle — just like Ja Morant. Overlooked in high school and only recruited by chance when a Murray State coach went for a snack and saw him playing in an auxiliary gym, Ja Morant has always been an underdog himself. In Memphis he has embraced and embodied the spirit of the city and people of Memphis, playing with a chip on his shoulder every night, devoted to his team and his city. He loves Memphis and Memphis loves him. This year, the most rabid Grizzlies Top Shot collectors have come together in the #GrzGng discord and it’s been a blast watching Ja Morant and the Grizzlies blow past everyone’s expectations. I know that every game night I can tune in on TV and watch along with friends in the #GrzGng discord, marveling at Ja’s jaw-dropping plays, conspiring to harass Austin on Twitter about what moments belong on Top Shot, speculating on upcoming Ja challenges, and celebrating each others' pack pulls. The best part? We all know Ja is going to turn up in the playoffs and I, personally, can’t wait to collect every single Ja moment Top Shot mints to commemorate what’s sure to be an unforgettable playoff run for the Grizzlies. — TS: allheartgritgrind
Collecting Ja moments has been incredible in season 3. Every night is must watch TV. When he had “The Block,” I went a little crazy and bought up more of his moments, and made it my mission to get that Moment whenever it hit (which ended up being a Holo 3 challenge reward). Season 3 was definitely "the Season of Ja '' on NBA Top Shot, in my opinion. — TS: eddiedunks
Being one of the top prospects in the heavy draft class of 2019, Ja Morant became a force to reckon with in the NBA. He’s been an inspiration in and out of the hardcourt. One of the most wholesome things I remember about Ja as a rookie was about raising money for charity on his birthday. I can’t wait for the incredible moments Ja will do along with the Memphis Grizzlies this Playoff season. I hope they win it all this year and add an incredible lore to an amazing career Ja Morant is having. — TS: rhodzx
Ja Morant is a phenomenon ... I loved him from the first moment I saw him because I liked that he played from the beginning without fear against everyone. He has a great confidence that you can hardly find in young players and that's why he immediately became the leader of his team! Who can forget what he has done this year ... the block with 2 hands, the buzzer-beating alley-oop jumpshot! – TS: magicstickz
Ja Morant is the pure essence of NBA Top Shot! The entire platform could be Ja Morant! He epitomizes the word Top Shot! Time for a logo upgrade, Top Shot – the Ja Morant alley-oop off the glass MGLE Series 2. — TS: thedream34
Ja’s season has been electrifying in his Junior season he led the Grizzlies to the 2nd best record in the league. He’s by far the most fun player in the league to suit up and play ball each night which is why he has millions of fans and supporters such as me. His moments on topshot stand out over anyone else’s on the platform with the best dunks on the platform. The way he has helped his teammates makes them have the best vibes on and off the court. Who doesn’t like someone who can get Griddy so Ja is my MVP in the NBA and on Topshot. – TS: gokina0314
The Grizzlies and the city of Memphis have *never* had a star like Ja. Every night is another highlight you don’t want to miss (seriously), and it’s hard to understate that despite the fact that the Grizzlies are 20-2 without Ja (admittedly insane), he’s the captain of this team. He's fully embraced a city that is so lucky to have him. I’m doing my best to soak in every moment with him. — TS: striking_pears8997
"The way Ja plays in simply captivating and I think his game is resonating with so many people because it reminds us (well at least me) of how the T-Mac/Vince Carter/Steve Francis era played with slight tweaks for today's style. By no means have we had a lack of skill or flash in the league but in my opinion he has filled the gap in having both flash and personality. "I'm him" reminds me of some mamba mentality mantra that helps him push to the next level. People underestimate the mental aspect of basketball and the fact all of Memphis has bought into this system should give basketball fans something to get excited about. After seeing his year on year progression, I think it's fair to say the league is in for a treat. Hard to not like a skinny kid who talks smack and backs it up on the court and W column. Ja and NxtGen are a whole vibe." — TS: Daranasouras
Ja Morant has embraced the city of Memphis since day 1, and that has made a city that has an underdog mindset appreciate his success all the more. His theme of “welcome to the dark” really clicks with our city—what you do in the dark prepares you for the bright lights. Nothing comes easy in Memphis, so the transcendent artistry of Ja with the ball in his hands has us all giddy wondering what will come next. I’ve been passionately following the NBA for 20+ years, and every night Ja plays he does something I’ve never seen before. The fearlessness, creativity, and joy of his games translates in a way that captivated the imagination of fans in a way that few players ever can. You watch him play, and your mind drifts to all-time greats for comparison: he’s like AI, but with a little more bounce; no he’s like Derrick Rose with a softer touch; maybe he’s like a young LeBron if he was 6’3 170 lbs. and played with a chip on his shoulder. Even though it’s our natural inclination to look back and ask, “Who’s he like?” or to look forward and wonder, “How many titles will he win?”, the true joy of being a Ja fan is the present. You don’t want the story to end. Each game is a unique masterpiece in itself, and the heights to which he’s allowed the second youngest team in the NBA to reach have demanded the attention of everyone. — TS: Grizz901