Ja Morant Wins 2022 Most Improved—and Gives Award to Desmond Bane

Ja Morant put the League on notice when he won Rookie of the Year in 2019-20. His ascension has only continued this season, from being named a 2022 NBA All-Star to now the NBA’s Most Improved Player. Ja, who is averaging a career-high 27.4 points per game, is the first Grizzlies player to ever win the award and the first-ever in League history to win both MIP and ROY.

And yet, back in December Ja had made it clear via Twitter who he felt was deserving of the award: Desmond Bane.

On Monday night, the SLAM 238 co-cover star posted on his Instagram story that he gave the award to Bane and left it in his kitchen.

“You deserve it killa!” he wrote in his caption.

Bane has improved across the stat sheet in his second year and is averaging 18.2 points and 4.4 rebounds. When Morant was out with a tweaked knee last month, he stepped up and averaged around 25.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 5.6 assists in three games. He dropped 34 points in a Game 4 loss to the Timberwolves.

The Grizzlies are currently tied with Minnesota 2-2 going into Game 5.