Dejounte Murray embarrasses Paolo Banchero and then makes a fool of himself…
Newly acquired NBA basketball team Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray speaks during a news conference Friday, July 1, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Dejounte Murray has been unleashed! He now has beef with a future star, and I can’t wait to see the former Spur embrace the villain role this upcoming season. Over the weekend, Dejounte exchanged words on the court (and on social media) with Paolo Banchero, the overall number one pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

The two played at a Pro-Am event in Seattle, Washington. Banchero tried guarding Murray and got caught in the air. Murray made his way around Banchero and threw an alley-oop to himself off the glass. Dejounte dunked the ball one-handed and immediately started jawing with the Orlando Magic rookie. Dejounte then threw the ball towards Paolo at a velocity that was impossible to catch.

Moments later, Dejounte can be heard walking towards the bench saying “This is a man’s league!” and “He’s too soft!”

Murray’s madness continued on social media where he blasted Banchero, saying he has changed ever since making it big at Duke and getting selected number one in the draft. Dejounte posted on Instagram:

“You tried to flex on that #1 pick s–t on me when I been rooting for you when you was a kid asking to rebound for me @paolo5. Don’t get on this internet saying nothing… You changed from the humble kid you always was and I stand on real s–t boy and YOU KNOW!!!!!!!! You made it and changed and I lost all respect!!”

They are both from the Seattle area and Dejounte says he remembers Paolo asking to rebound balls for him as a child.

Banchero responded to Murray’s social media post by wondering why Dejounte dropped him from social media. “Lol unfollowed me on tha gram n everything it must be personal huh? That’s fine us make sure u guard up next time n stop sending doubles family,” Banchero wrote.

Ah yes, the social media block. That’s what Dejounte does. He blocks anyone who judges or questions anything about him. Why? Because Dejounte is fake tough. He can be strong in a fight, but at the end of the day Words. Hurt. Him. We see the same thing happening with Kevin Durant, who has reportedly demanded a trade from Brooklyn unless the team fires its head coach Steve Nash, and General Manager Sean Marks.

I understand wanting to play with a chip on your shoulder, but why exactly are these players so angry at the world? This is a side of Murray that we never saw in his six seasons with the Spurs. Since this summer’s trade to Atlanta, we’ve seen Dejounte post videos of bricks of cash and partying at a strip club.

Dejounte is becoming a villain. Normally, I’d be upset about this, but I’m enjoying the fact that Dejounte has embraced being the bad guy. From a fan standpoint, this is an interesting development because I look forward to seeing what the Hawks can accomplish against the perceived good guys: the Bucks and Celtics.

Dejounte has the guts to stand up to a rookie who has never played an NBA game in his life. Let’s see what he pulls against Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. I’d bet Dejounte wouldn’t say a word about them. Because, fake tough guys don’t challenge those who kick their butt both on and off the court.

What do you think? Is Dejounte Murray going too far? Is Dejounte becoming an NBA villain? Reach out to Michael on Twitter @MikeESPNSA. You can listen to Michael on “Halftime” weekdays from Noon to 2 p.m. on 94.1 FM.

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