While most improved is subjective, there is no denying that Morant is very much deserving of the award. The young player received 221 points, with 38 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters. His peer Djounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs came second with 183 points and Cleveland Cavaliers‘ Darius Garland came in third place. This season was Morant’s first year as an NBA All-Star select and averaged 27.4 points, 6.7 assists and 5.7 rebounds. He shot his career-best of 49.3% from the field and at just age 22, is the third player in the history of the leagues to reach his 2021-22 stats within his first three seasons. He also established a career-high in minutes, rebounds and steals this season and had six games where he shot at least 40 points.
In a surprising act, after receiving the award, Ja Morant gifts his teammate Desmond Bane his Most Improved Player Award. He to his Instagram Story to write, “@_dbane1 i left your award in your kitchen gang, you deserve it killa. His actions showed that he believed that Bane should have been in the MIP conversation. The Grizzlies are currently in the playoffs and are tied 2-2 in the first round of the playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 2021-22 Kia NBA Most Improved Player is Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant! pic.twitter.com/XNLdPFQwFe
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) April 25, 2022
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) April 25, 2022
Ja Morant gave his MIP Award to Desmond Bane.
That’s real ✊ pic.twitter.com/Z8ObkcHWO4
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 26, 2022
In other sports news, Lewis Hamilton and Serena Williams recently pledged a bid to acquire Chelsea FC.