A lot of things can change in 182 days. I still remember San Antonio Spurs fans, myself included, rejoicing on the day the NBA selected Dejounte Murray for his first NBA All-Star game. Somehow, since that day in February, the 25-year-old has gone from hero to villain in the eyes of many of those same fans.
When the organization decided to strike while the iron was hot and deal Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in June, his on-camera feedback appeared to be all positive. "They just want the best for Dejounte," he'd told the ESPN crew while attending NBA League in Las Vegas. "That's the Spurs organization. They're first class."
Of course, behind the scenes, Dejounte told a different story. "I feel FREE and I feel WANTED," said a tweet soon after the trade. "BEST season along with being HAPPY on the way, I promise!" While that can be interpreted in different ways, I'm not so sure his ensuing comments about the Spurs being set up "to lose for 15 years" can. On Sunday, Murray continued to add to his apparent post-Spurs villain arc as he continued his summer basketball ventures.
Dejounte Murray goes after hometown hooper Paolo Banchero
As expected, Dejounte has been impressive in pro-am events this offseason. First, there was his performance he had at Seattle Pacific University.
On Sunday, Murray continued with more of his patented on-court brilliance.
It became clear pretty early on, though, that Murray had some clear beef with the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, Paolo Banchero.
After an impressive move on the 19-year-old that included throwing the ball in his direction, Murray had some words to say about the promising prospect when being subbed out.
"That's who y'all came to see?" asked Murray. "It's a man's league. He a little boy. He's too soft. [I'm] the real number five."
The antics continued off the court as well, as Murray did as he's been doing all summer long since trade rumors began: chirped on Instagram.
It's unclear what exactly upset Dejounte so much about Banchero, but the teenager seemed taken aback by just how seriously the former Spur was taking things. "Unfollowed me on the gram and everything. It must be personal, huh?" said Paolo.
The response from Murray didn't really mince words, as he went after Paolo again, saying he's changed from his humble days and has lost Dejounte's respect as a result. "I still wanna see you win cause that's who I am!" ended Murray's message.
Fans react to the Murray and Banchero beef
Of course, social media was all over the sudden rivalry -- one no one saw coming since the pair seemed pretty close before as Washington natives.
I don't know enough information to determine whether Murray's anger with Banchero is justified or not, and that's not really my place. But I do find it strange that Dejounte has been preaching loyalty and humility above all throughout his life but continues to show the opposite of those qualities in some of his actions.
It'll be Atlanta's problem now, but I'm truly hoping the off-court news about Murray slows down. He's better than that.