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Ja Morant says he thrives on negative energy

NBA Draft, Ja Morant

Consensus No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant isn’t worried about the doubters or the skepticism that is likely to seep in during his rookie year in the league, claiming he’s made it this far thriving off his critics.

“Yes, I really like the negative energy,” said Morant during the NBA Draft media availability. “‘He haven’t played against nobody, he’s too small, he can’t shoot.’ I love it. The negative energy motivates me.

It really doesn’t bother me because my dad was my first hater, so if I can take it from him I can take it from anybody.”

It seems Morant has much more to him than incredible ups, an uncanny vision and plenty of talent, but also a good head on his shoulders ahead of the biggest challenge of his basketball career.

The crossover from college to the pros is no joke, and neither is the abundance of over-analysis and criticism that often follows these high lottery picks that are expected to make an impact for their respective teams.

Morant has some large shoes to fill after the Memphis Grizzlies traded longtime franchise star Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz earlier on Wednesday, cementing their position to make him the point guard of the future.

The Murray State product isn’t short of confidence either, calling himself a “point God” even before teams were allowed to evaluate players that had declared for the draft.

Having drawn comparisons to Russell Westbrook for his boundless athleticism and triple-double potential, Morant won’t be short of scrutiny — but thankfully, it looks like he’ll be able to handle it just fine.