Would it really be a proper NBA off-season if two players weren’t beefing? But in this case, I can’t quite put my finger on what got both of these players so heated.
The short story is this: Dejounte Murray is from Seattle. Paolo Banchero is from Seattle. Murray is a six-year NBA veteran who made his first all-star appearance this past season and was recently traded to the Atlanta Hawks. Banchero was selected first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2022 NBA Draft after leading Duke University to the Final Four in his lone season with the Blue Devils.
With training camp not starting until next month, players love getting a workout in at local pro-am games across the country. Since Murray and Banchero are both from Seattle, it’s natural that both wanted to play in Isaiah Thomas’ annual summer pro-am, Zeke-end.
The heat started on the court, where Murray can be seen faking out Banchero and throwing the ball off the backboard to himself for a dunk. He can be seen calling Banchero too small and throwing the ball back at him. Which is hilarious considering Murray is a good six inches shorter than Banchero.
Murray posted on Instagram, “WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES!!!!! Disrespectful They Said….. Yeahhhhh I KNOW!!!!!!!!”
Later in the game after a foul, you can see the two bumping each other and Murray saying, “That’s who they came to see? It’s a man’s league, he’s a little boy. He’s too soft. I’m the real number five.”
The beef then went to social media after Banchero reposted the highlight play on his Instagram story writing, “lol unfollowed me on that gram n everything it must be personal huh? That’s fine jus make u guard up next time n stop sending doubles family.”
In response, Murray had a lengthy response of his own on his Instagram story. He wrote, “You Tried To Flex That #1 Pick Shit 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 Shit Boy And YOU KNOW!!!!!!! You Made It And Changed And I Lost All Respect!!
He continued, “Stay Humble. This Life You In Now Is REAL And Ain’t No Joke!!! I STILL WANNA SEE YOU WIN Cause That’s WHO I AM!!!”
Hard to believe that after that long and emotional message. It seems that Murray thinks Banchero’s head has gotten a little too big for his own good after getting picked first overall in the draft.
Later on, Banchero posted, “same humble kid always vouched for u bro don’t switch that narrative for that internet. shoutout IT tho for a great event.”
Like many others, Paolo vs. Dejounte was not the off-season matchup that NBA fans have in mind, but like most drama on NBA Twitter, fans are eating it up, including me.
People are already throwing out hilarious theories on why the two have it out on each other.
Get your popcorn ready for when the Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic matchup this season.