Ja Morant celebrates contract extension by tipping Applebee’s waitress $500

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Lightly recruited with only a handful of scholarship offers, most from mid-majors like Duquesne, Wofford, Eastern Maryland Shore and the school he’d end up attending, Murray State, Ja Morant’s path to NBA stardom is as unlikely as any we’ve ever seen. Morant was in Dallas last week when his five-year, $193-million extension was announced, securing his family’s financial future while cementing his status as the Grizzlies’ unquestioned franchise player.

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Known for his prodigious scoring (27.4 points per game in 2021-22) and affinity for highlight-reel dunks, the All-Star guard celebrated his newfound fortune, not by splurging on a luxury sports car or a new Beverly Hills mansion, but with a routine trip to Macy’s for some undershirts.

Later, Morant treated his entourage to a meal at a nearby Applebee’s, where the humble 22-year-old left a generous $500 tip for his server, who had no idea (until he told her) she had just waited on a former Rookie of the Year and the NBA’s Most Improved Player last season.

Shameless displays of wealth are a dime a dozen in the NBA (Michael Rubin's debaucherous Hamptons party over the weekend was a masterclass in excess), which is why it’s so refreshing to see Morant still enjoying life’s simple pleasures, going to the mall for t-shirts and grubbing with his buddies over a celebratory plate of Fiesta Lime Chicken. Pretty good for a skinny South Carolina kid who wasn’t even ranked by recruiting sites Rivals.com and 247Sports coming out of high school.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Justin Ford, Getty Images