Paolo Banchero, former Duke basketball star and the Orlando Magic's No. 1 draft pick, is already starting to build tensions in the league.
After a few physical altercations with Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, Banchero elevated their conflict on social media. The two went back and forth on both Twitter and Instagram with several fans weighing in.
During Isaiah Thomas' Zeke-End tournament in Tacoma, Washington, on Sunday night, Banchero was captured getting into a few brief exchanges with Murray. The feud appears to have started when 6-foot-10, 210 pound Banchero knocked Murray to the ground underneath the basket. While the ball flew in the other direction and Murray was helped up by other teammates, the Hawks guard bumped into Banchero before the rookie patted him across the belly.
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Paolo is so strong that he goes up for the ball and unintentionally makes Dejounte Murray bust his ass on the floor.
Paolo doesn't even realize he's mad when Murray uses his strength to push Paolo back.
Paolo stops his momentum, hugs him, and pats him on the belly lol. pic.twitter.com/NttfjFy1RG
— WeltGawd (@WeltGawd) August 8, 2022
Murray escalated as the tournament went on and faked out Banchero before giving himself an alley-oop off the backboard. Banchero and Murray exchanged a few words before the Hawks guard threw the ball at him.
Dejounte Murray crazy self oop at the Zeke End Tournament @DejounteMurraypic.twitter.com/N9bAZ9uw9x
— Home Team Hoops (@HomeTeamHoops) August 8, 2022
Murray was also mocking Banchero on the sidelines during the tournament. He was heard calling Banchero a "little boy," and saying that he's "too soft."
"It's a man's league. He a little boy, he's too soft."
Dejounte Murray calls Paolo a "little boy" and "soft" 😳
(via @HomeTeamHoops) pic.twitter.com/74fT5fOyib
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) August 8, 2022
Despite the tournament's conclusion Sunday night, the feud between Murray and Banchero continued on social media. Murray shared the clip of his fakeout on Instagram with the caption directed to Banchero.
"WELCOME TO THE BIG LEAGUES!!!!!!" Murray captioned the post. " Disrespectful They Said….. Yeahhhhh I KNOW!!!!!!!!”
Banchero later responded to the post in an Instagram story, mentioning that Murray unfollowed him on the platform and took the exchanges personally.
Paolo Banchero posted this on his IG story in response to Dejounte Murray's play
(via @Pp_doesit) pic.twitter.com/ZdxZg7pIZy
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 8, 2022
Murray issued another response to Banchero's story, explaining that the rookie changed from "the humble boy" as his status grew and that Murray's lost respect for him.
Dejounte Murray has now responded to Paolo Banchero… oh boy. pic.twitter.com/wINyBWVYXM
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) August 8, 2022
It appears the exchanges ended Sunday night after Banchero posted a final response to Murray's story.
"Same humble kid," Banchero wrote in another Instagram story. "Always vouched for u bro don't switch tha narrative for tha internet."
Dani Mohr is a trending sports writer for the South Region of USA Today Network based at The Tennessean in Nashville. Follow her on Twitter @daniraemohr
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Paolo Banchero, No. 1 NBA pick, feuds with Hawks' Dejounte Murray
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