10 Must Hear Dejounte Murray Facts
Tall, athletic, lanky. These are just some of the phrases used to describe Dejounte Murray. The young point guard who is currently a member of the San Antonio Spurs is proving to be one of the better young guards in the league. With a little more improvement over the next couple of years he could drag the Spurs into the postseason on his own. However, even though we all know Murray and his game on the court, there is a lot we as fans don’t know. In today’s video, we will be going over ten of the most interesting facts we could find about Murray. Be sure to stick around until the end of the video to find out about his rough early life and how he was able to make it into the NBA.
Number ten. Dejounte Murray was definitely the biggest steal of the 2016 NBA Draft. While this may not seem like a fact more so an opinion, he was heavily considered the biggest steal after the draft concluded. Shortly after he threw his name in the NBA Draft player pool, multiple analysts had him ranked in the lottery. Some even had him as the ninth best prospect overall in the class. However, he somehow fell all the way down to the 29th overall selection. It is absolutely ridiculous that a young guard with All-Star potential ended up slipping down to the 29th pick, a selection that was held by the San Antonio Spurs. Shockingly, Murray didn’t even work out for the Spurs prior to the draft. However, the Spurs were the first team that he official met with. Apparently, the meeting went well enough to get him selected despite not even showing them what he can do. To make matters even worse for Murray, he had to sit and wait in the green room for around three and a half hours! You better believe he remembers all the teams that chose to pass on him in the draft that year and is definitely out looking to revenge.
Number nine. Murray has an insane wingspan for a point guard. This was probably his biggest upside when he was coming into the NBA as well. Everybody knew that he was a tall and lanky player, a man that stands six foot five, but his six-foot ten-inch wingspan caught scouts off guard. These lanky arms help him play defense at an elite level while also being able to rebound with most centers despite being a point guard. Unfortunately, he opted not to attend the NBA Draft Combine after college, so we don’t have any official vertical numbers for him. Although, it is likely those numbers are pretty high as well considering his athleticism and wingspan. I can name quite a few teams that are desperately searching for a guard with the length and defensive intelligence that Murray displays.
Number eight. Dejounte Murray wasn’t offered a single scholarship in high school. This is one of the most surprising facts about Murray out there. He was seriously dominant during his time in high school, being named a top 50 recruit among multiple other awards. However, he didn’t receive any type of scholarship offer from a big-name school. Instead, the only offers he was given were from Cal, Gonzaga, the Huskies, Washington State, UNLV, Tulsa and USC. For one of the most exciting young point guards heading into college, you would expect far more schools to go out of their way just to grab him and yet that simply wasn’t the case here.
Number seven. Murray is already a member of Spurs history. During his rookie season, he became the fourth rookie in franchise history to get a points/rebound double-double in the postseason. The majority of rookies in the NBA have some trouble in their first playoff run, simply because they have zero experience in that area just yet. Murray didn’t let that inexperience affect him whatsoever though, which is why he is now in elite level company with this record. Joining David Robinson, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard. He shouldn’t be too overwhelmed by joining these elite players, as a few of his mentors happen to be terrific players in the league such as LeBron James and Jamal Crawford. Crawford actually sent out a tweet congratulating Murray on being drafted. It read, “Nothing ever came easy anyway. Lifelong dream! What a blessing to be with the Spurs.” With this mentorship and ability, the sky is the limit for the young Spurs guard.
Number six. Dejounte was getting little to no minutes at one point in his NBA career before taking a random jump one season. At one point, Murray didn’t play in 17 of the teams final 18 regular season games and in that one game he played in he was only on the court for five total minutes. Extending that reach even further and going to the 26 games before that and he played a total of just 27 minutes overall. Even when the Spurs made it into the postseason the rotation didn’t change, as he saw nine minutes of playing time in a full six game series against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round. However, he randomly saw a massive spike in minutes the next series against the Houston Rockets. He played in 58 minutes through those three games and was quickly becoming an integral part of the rotation at that time. Nowadays he is getting that much playing time frequently. It is crazy to think that he simply wasn’t seeing the court at all throughout the beginning of his career and now he is a cornerstone of the Spurs new and young roster. Stick around until the end of the video to find out about other hurdles he had to overcome just to get to this point!
Number five. Dejounte Murray was born and raised in the city of Seattle. Seattle is where he grew up and attended Rainier Beach High School. It was also the area that saw him claim multiple awards for his on-court dominance, he was first named to the 2015 Parade All-American squad, then won the 2015 Washington Gatorade Men’s Basketball Player of the Year. That wasn’t all though, he also was named the WIAA Mr. Basketball, the Seattle Times Player of the Year and the Tacoma News Tribune Player of the Year. I believe it is safe to say that Murray was one of the most talented and popular high school players throughout the state. The young man was showing his All-Star potential while he was still just a teenager. Side note, Murray was also just the 23rd basketball player from Seattle to make an NBA appearance. Some others are Nate Robinson, Jamal Crawford and three-time NBA champion James Edwards.
Number four. Dejounte has compared himself to Kawhi Leonard in the past when it comes to his motor as a player. Shortly after Murray was selected to the Spurs, he was relentlessly asked about what he could bring to the Spurs in his first year with them. He simply responded with, “You know, high motor, like Kawhi Leonard; a dude that’s willing to work, and I’ll never settle for less, never get comfortable.” That high motor has also made him one of Gregg Popovich’s favorite players on the roster. The future Hall of Fame head coach talked had told Murray that he wants to turn him into a fantastic player similar to Kawhi and it seems like they are on the way to do just that. His defense is pretty close to Leonard, but his offense and playmaking still have quite a long way to go before he reaches that peak. Still, it is still high praise from one of the greatest coaches of all time. Murray also shared some appreciation for his coach in the past as well, calling him a great coach and going so far as to say he is likely the best coach that has ever coached.
Number three. Murray was fantastic during his lone year in college. He was one of just two freshmen that year to average at least 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Dejounte was displayed a ton of veteran tendencies despite being just 18 years old in his first year in a new environment. The only other freshmen that year to put up an equal stat line was none other than Ben Simmons out of LSU. The man that was eventually drafted number one overall and is still on the Philadelphia 76ers. Though, he may not be for long as another poor playoff outing has people pushing for him to be traded. But I digress. Murray and Simmons were just one step ahead of the rest of the freshmen in that class which is why they were both able to not only throw themselves into the draft pool that next year, but also be drafted in the first round.
Number two. Dejounte Murray was labeled a gang member during the NBA Draft. This fact happens to be heavily related to why he slid in the draft so much. He had come out and claimed that multiple teams talked to him and promised that he would be drafted in the lottery. Unfortunately, things came out about his past on draft day that teams put a lot of thought into. He said that he felt some type of way after being judged for decisions he made when he was 13 or 14 years old. We will get to those decisions in a moment as well. San Antonio chose to ignore all of those red flags that other teams brought up and thought he was worth the risk anyways. The Spurs said that all they see is a young kid who needs guidance and a chance. Luckily, we got to see them take that chance on him and watch him slowly develop into one of the better point guards in the league at such a young age. Hopefully he will be able to continue at the pace he is heading and get even better as he reaches his prime. With a legendary coach and fantastic organization at his disposal, the sky is the limit.
Number one. Dejounte became active in the streets when he was just 11 years old. He opened up about his past shortly after he was drafted which is when he dove into everything that happened in his early life. During an interview with Chris Haynes, Murray said that his mother was “in and out of the penitentiary” when he was a child and that by the time, he was four years old he practically knew every drug out there. Later on, he started to become very active out on the streets, when he was 10 or 11 years of age. Murray dove further into detail on that and said he wasn’t just on the corner every once in a while, but instead that he was well known in the area and that every time he walked out, they knew who he was. All of these things led to him spending time in juvenile detention, but things quickly changed when he was just a sophomore in high school. Jamal Crawford had met him at this time, and he told Murray that he has all the skills to make it into the NBA. Crawford then took Murray under his wing and would frequently text him to make sure he was off the streets, that his grades were improving and that he was always working in the gym to get better and better. Unfortunately, those decisions he made when he was younger caught up to him in the Draft as we mentioned earlier but, in my opinion, they weren’t serious enough to nearly knock him out of the first round. Crawford might have even saved these young kids life, as a life out on the streets like that could have gotten him into serious trouble. Now with his guidance and motivation we are seeing Murray grow as a person on and of the court.
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