New Orleans, LA: Dejounte Murray #5 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on March 26, 2022 (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images).
It’s August in the NBA, which means draft prospects have new homes, free agents are locked into fresh deals and most of the high-profile trades have been finalized. Basically, we’re in no man’s land, where basketball fans gather around NBA Twitter to watch two high-profile players grow contentious in a Pro-Am game and fued on Instagram.
That’s right—we’re here to talk about Nuggets sophomore Bones Hyland dodging a punch from former NBA guard Brandon Goodwin at an Atlanta Pro-Am! Just kidding, but that also happened on Sunday.
The real beef everyone is talking about is between two of the most talented hoopers out of Seattle: Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray and Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero. The friends turned into foes during an altercation at a ‘Zeke-End’ basketball tournament organized by former All-Star Isaiah Thomas.
Dejounte Murray that’s sick 🤮 @DejounteMurray @isaiahthomas pic.twitter.com/kDyGsvUEYj
— Overtime (@overtime) August 7, 2022
This highlight of Murray schooling Banchero went viral across social media on Sunday. Dejounte is seen switching onto Banchero, making him jump with an up-and-under, turning the rookie around with a fake pass, tossing the ball off the backboard and slamming it down emphatically with one hand.
Things get serious when Dejounte jumps to recover the dead ball before Banchero. Immediately, Murray can be seen chatting directly in Banchero’s face, prompting him to push off of the All-Star guard. Still talking, Murray tosses the ball at Banchero’s feet and gets back on defense.
Murray took to Instagram (@dejountemurray) after the game to post a clip of the play with the following caption: “WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES!!!!!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 Disrespectful They Said….. 🤷🏽♂️ Yeahhhhh I KNOW!!!!!!!!”
Banchero responded in his own Instagram (@paolo5) story, saying: “lol unfollowed me on the gram and everything it must be personal huh? that’s fine jus make sure u guard up n stop sending doubles family 😂” in response.
Moments later, Dejounte Murray responded—this time on his story—saying the following:
“You Tried To Flex 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 Chander 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.
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!!!
Finally, to put an end to the saga until the four regular-season meetings between Orlando and Atlanta, Paolo posted: “same humble kid always vouched for u bro don’t switch tha narrative for tha internet. shoutout IT tho for a great event.”
Now that we’re all caught up, let’s get to the main event: Tweets and memes!
First off is a wholesome take from NBA Twitter legend NBA Paint:
Paolo Banchero and DeJounte Murray share some beef. pic.twitter.com/1WWFPcUkot
— nba paint (@nba_paint) August 8, 2022
Thank you for your much-needed levity, NBA Paint. Now onto some more reactions.
Dejounte Murray told Paolo Banchero that the NBA changed him and he didn’t even play 5 minutes of NBA basketball.
— Ahmed/INeedHer.eth 🇸🇴 (@big_business_) August 8, 2022
I refuse to believe the Paolo/Dejounte thing is that serious lmbo
— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) August 8, 2022
That response from Murray got me vexxed lol all Paolo said was stop doubling 😭😭😭😭😭😭
— Jason Maples (@JJMaples55_MST) August 8, 2022
Dejounte was really calling for doubles on Paolo all game pic.twitter.com/E5JnacS3Ph
— 𝓜𝓪𝓽𝓽 🏀✈️ (@mldiffley) August 8, 2022
Paolo Banchero started all this man y’all mad at Dejounte for no reason
— Atlanta Hawks Fan (@atlhawkstime11) August 8, 2022
what in the Degrassi is going with Paolo Banchero and Dejounte Murray?
— Ashley Nicole Moss (@AshNicoleMoss) August 8, 2022
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… memes courtesy of NBA Twitter!
Dejounte Murray when he sees Paolo for the first Magic-Hawks game pic.twitter.com/mSE8zXwEzm
— Chris Williamson (@CWilliamson44) August 8, 2022
Me catching up on this Dejounte Murray and Paolo Banchero beef pic.twitter.com/6DNPNmDFcD
— Shamit Dua (@FearTheBrown) August 8, 2022
This how John Collins looking at Dejounte knowing he’s the one that’s gonna have to guard Paolo this season pic.twitter.com/xtYUI88OA7
— ShokoIeirisStayAtHomeHusband (@TerranovaNoah) August 8, 2022
John Collins tryna guarding Paolo Banchero in all 4 games after da Dejounte Murray beef pic.twitter.com/SOabJtgLGk
— ⁰⁰ (@KumingaClears) August 8, 2022
Dejounte Murray since the trade pic.twitter.com/zI7uuCVlE8
— Roberto Araiza (@raraiza21) August 8, 2022
Dejounte Murray’s shift key https://t.co/OXVJuovh4d pic.twitter.com/k87y1eYeyf
— Josh Paredes (@Josh810) August 8, 2022
All jokes aside, it’s hard to say what truly went down between these players. Up to this point, their respect and admiration for each other have been public on social media. They, along with Zach LaVine, are the faces of Seattle’s emergent basketball scene with new prospects from across the city seemingly entering the NBA every year.
Now Southeast Division opponents, Murray and Banchero will see each other four times in the upcoming season and presumably, for years to come.