It started with the new Hawks star posting a rather eye-catching message on Twitter about feeling “free” and “wanted” – one that he eventually deleted.
“I Feel FREE And I Feel WANTED…. 💯 BEST Season Along With Being HAPPY On The Way I Promise!!!! 😤,” said Dejounte Murray via Twitter on Monday.
Then things overflowed onto Instagram, as some trolls started going at Dejounte in the comments section of his posts, wherein the All-Star guard responded with rather contentious words:
“The Way That System Set Up You Gone Be Losing For The Next 15 Yrs!!! Problem Bigger Than Basketball,” responded Murray to one commenter who shaded him.
Dejounte Murray showing his true colors 😐 pic.twitter.com/DyhBvHB6WX
— PJ Hoops (@RealPjHoops) July 19, 2022
What exactly was Dejounte Murray referring to when talking about the “system”? Was that a subtle jab at the Spurs front office, head coach Gregg Popovich, or maybe both?
Ambiguity aside, Spurs fans were quick to react on Twitter, expressing mixed emotions of betrayal and disappointment:
Took down the SpursElite post since someone was able to verify the picture's authenticity. Not really sorry since the dude sucks anyway but I'm really just disappointed that Dejounte Murray's comments are real.
— Josh Paredes (@Josh810) July 19, 2022
All this recent @DejounteMurray activity really making me consider who he really is. He talking real negative about a team and fan base that backed him the entire time he was here, before the triple doubles and all star games. Really weird energy bro.
— lou (@Kvng_Louie) July 19, 2022
Dejounte Murray's recent social media posts may reveal one of the reasons the Spurs moved on. Hard to build around the insecure and immature. Understood it at 19, but he's never outgrown it. Can't be a Batman with thin skin.
— Don Harris (@DonHarris4) July 19, 2022
Dejounte Murray said he finally feels wanted, mf all of San Antonio literally loved you and pushed for you to be great lmfao. Ight bro
— Jeff The Vassell Fan (@JefftheSpursfan) July 17, 2022
But not everyone was against him. Spurs reporter Carolina Teague was vocal about Dejounte's very first post that started it all, emphasizing that just because he was saying he feels “free” and “wanted”, doesn't automatically make it a major slight against the team that he came from.
Why are people trying 2 invalidate Dejounte Murray’s feelings.He’s not saying the Spurs FANS didn’t make him feel wanted,he didn’t say the Spurs FANS didn’t make him feel free.
Nobody knows what really goes on w/in an organization and people are allowed to feel what they feel.
— Carolina Teague (@carolinateague_) July 19, 2022
Dejounte Murray himself has been all kinds of complimentary to the Spurs and its fan base during his conversations with the media and even posted a heartfelt message to the city of San Antonio just a few weeks back.
SAN ANTONIO I LOVE YOU FOREVER…..🖤 Thank You @spurs And The Whole City For Believing In Me And Embracing Me From DAY ONE. I Want To Write A Whole Book But It’s Not Easy. We Are Family And Its Always Going To Be Bigger Than Basketball!!! pic.twitter.com/wMrmZanTbj
— Dejounte Murray (@DejounteMurray) June 30, 2022
It's clear this entire thing is more nuanced than it seems. But of course, the internet is nothing but reactionary with athletes and public figures rarely being given the benefit of the doubt.