This week Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray went on to the All The Smoke podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson to discuss a number of topics from his relationship with his father to all of the details in between the lines of his trade from the San Antonio Spurs to the Hawks.
Murray, 2021 All-Star, was traded to the Hawks by the Spurs in an effort to get him off a rebuilding franchise and onto a team competing for a playoff spot. The trade overall was a massive step for both of teams but most importantly the trade was in theory supposed to catapult the Hawks into potentially championship contenders. We are only halfway through the season but so far the move has been paying dividends for the Hawks and Murray in particular.
The Next Chapter
The Hawks currently hold a 23-22 record while on a four game winning streak. Trae Young and Murray have been working around the obstacle of having two ball dominant guards in the back court, but you can see glimpses of greatness shine as the two build rapport.
Murray and Young got their first court time together in the Crawsover League, a pro-am tournament where the two paired up to get some runs in and you could see a natural chemistry that will be beneficial to the future of the team.
Jackson and Barnes brought up the conflict with Paolo Banchero after talking about about his troublesome childhood. Murray and the rookie were jawing back and forth which led to a small physical confrontation.
To some this display on the part of Murray was seen as poor sportsmanship and a reflection of his character. I saw something though that I felt the Hawks have been missing, the grit and toughness that you need to be in the NBA. We have a star who isn’t going to back down from any one player or challenge.
The Back Story
Murray went on then to get asked about his time in San Antonio and much to many peoples surprise, it was not all sunshine and roses. Murray felt he was drafted with a shadow of judgment draped over him and was not given a fair shake compared to other people in the organization were.
“They play these mind games, they want to break you” stated Murray.
Murray didn’t understand why they put him through what they did. The Seattle native credited his hard work and dedication to why he got the chance to be the star he was on the team.
“They had to kick me out the gym,” said Murray emphatically. “They saw me getting bigger, getting better”
Murray went on to recount his time playing with Tony Parker.
“Tony ain’t like it… I know he didn’t like it, because if he liked it, he would’ve mentored me the way he should have,” Murray stated. “He wouldn’t have went to Charlotte, he would’ve stayed right there.”
Jackson further confirmed what Murray said about Parker.
“He’s been selfish, we would’ve had more championships and more success if it wasn’t for him being so selfish,” Jackson said firmly. “He’s one of the most selfish players I’ve ever played with.”
The discussion wasn’t all heavy though, Murray talked about the advice he received from Kawhi Leonard.
“Kawhi told me don’t worry about scoring 15-20 points, get on that all defensive team and they cant help but keep you on the floor,” Murray recalled.
The Final Phase
Now that Murray is no longer with the Spurs organization, he has been successful in Atlanta. The former Huskie credits the Spurs with still paying him the season when he was injured and acknowledged his appreciation for the team despite all of the wild occurrences that took pace at the the start of his career. Murray will always be tied to the storied franchise, which should be credited for developing him from a late first round pick to an NBA All-Star point guard.
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