Dejounte Murray continues to show phenomenal leadership skills for the San Antonio Spurs amid a tough losing streak.
It didn’t take long for San Antonio Spurs’ point guard Dejounte Murray to show that he was born to be a leader. Back in 2017 as the Spurs were playing the Toronto Raptors, Murray showed exactly what kind of guiding influence he can be when things get tough.
It started with a little scrum between LaMarcus Aldridge and Serge Ibaka. Some shoves were exchanged between Aldridge and Ibaka and the two had to be separated by teammates. As LaMarcus and Murray headed back to the Spurs bench, Gregg Popovich came over to offer a few words to his star big man. That’s when something remarkable happened.
As Pop was walking over he was waved off by Murray. It wasn’t disrespectful at all, it was just Murray’s way of saying “don’t worry coach, I got this”. It takes refined leadership skills for a 21-year old to be a calming presence for a seasoned veteran like Aldridge. It takes incredible confidence in those skills for that same young man to wave off one of the greatest coaches in NBA history and take charge of the situation.
It was a small gesture but it spoke volumes about Murray’s character and leadership ability. Even at a young age, he was showing exactly the kind of calming presence you want out of your franchise leading floor general.
Murray’s leadership is needed once again as the Spurs struggle through a losing streak. Thankfully he’s rising to the occasion. Murray recently spoke to Tom Osborn with MySanAntonio.com and took ownership of the Spurs’ current situation.
“We get paid to come out and execute a game plan our coaches give us. We get paid to produce. We don’t get paid to laugh and crack jokes. You will never hear me blame my coaches. Even if they were the problem, I would never blame my coaches. We got to lace ‘em up and go compete.”
Murray’s quote was in response to the criticism that Gregg Popovich had laid upon his players. Pop was spot on when he pointed out that there was only so much the coaching staff can do to help break this losing streak. At the end of the day, schematic changes and rotation adjustments will only take you so far. The final on-court product is up to the players.
If there is a silver lining to the difficult situation that the Spurs find themselves in it is that it will push players like Murray to find ways to fight through adversity. Rough patches can be demoralizing but using them to build team chemistry while overcoming them can be beneficial in the long run. As long as players like Murray continue to stay focused and take ownership of the situation there’s no reason for Spurs fans to be worried about the long term success of this group.
As one of the Spurs’ most important players, this kind of leadership is great to see from Murray. He’s the point guard of the future and will be a fixture in the organization for years to come. That four-year extension is looking better and better every day.