Dejounte Murray has made his impact felt in this new-look San Antonio Spurs team, not only proving his capability to play under a disciplined system like Gregg Popovich’s, but also showing early signs of leadership — bringing serious suggestions of being the point guard of the future.
Taking over an aging and injured Tony Parker; who is making his road to recovery by going to the G League, Murray has impressed with his all-around floor game, but not any more than he did on Tuesday, breaking off an altercation between teammate LaMarcus Aldridge and Toronto Raptors forward Serge Ibaka.
Popovich had all the intentions to calm the waters, but Murray stepped in and waved him off — talking to Aldridge and managing to get him to keep his composure during a heated exchange.
“I thought that was really pretty wonderful leadership for a young guy like that who is just finding his way to go ahead and calm him down like that,” Popovich said after shootaround Wednesday morning, according to Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. “I was actually going over and he kind of waved me away like, ‘I got this. I’m OK. I don’t need you over here.'”
“It was pretty cool.”
Murray knew just what to say to make it click for the team’s go-to scorer, keeping his eyes on the prize.
“I told (Aldridge), you’re on another level. Don’t worry about that. Keep playing your game,” Murray said after the game. “He’s having a hell of a year. He’s having fun. I told him, don’t worry about that. Let’s win this game.”
Even Aldridge noted his innate ability to say the right things at the right time, noting his focus shifted from the spat with Ibaka to the task at hand.
“He’s a natural leader,” Aldridge said.