Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Dejounte Murray reacts to Game 5 suspension for bumping referee

The Atlanta Hawks are on the brink of being eliminated by the Celtics as they trail 3-1 in this first-round best-of-7-series after falling 129-121 in Game 4.

If the No. 7 seeded Hawks are going to extend their season it will be without Dejounte Murray, as the NBA on Monday announced the one-game suspension of the All-Star guard for bumping referee Gediminas Petraitis at the conclusion of Sunday night's loss.

Murray was later yelling in Petraitis' direction while getting held back by Hawks personnel and had to be ushered to the locker room by his teammates.

According to Murray, "there was a lot" that led up to Sunday's incident involving him bumping Petraitis. On Tuesday morning, he said he's been experiencing "one-sided" treatment from Petraitis dating back years and his time with the San Antonio Spurs.
"I'm a grown man," Murray said during shootaround. "And I hold my own and I take full responsibility for not being able to play for my teammates, and the fans, and just the organization as a whole. But at the end of the day, there's a lot that led up to that, and I think a lot of players could relate to those frustrations."
Murray has been one of the more consistent playmakers for the Hawks in the first four games against the Celtics so far, averaging 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per contest.

The Hawks veteran noted that he believes Petraitis has been ignoring him and his teammates without any reason or explanation when it has come to calls.
"I'm just a guy that likes to have conversations, especially with the referees," Murray added. "And if you ask 98% of them why they greet me before games, they'll tell you because I'm one of the respectful ones. I don't cry about calls. I don't disrespect them, call them out of their names, or none of that. So whatever happened, happened. I just feel we should all be held accountable from players, coaches, even the referees. It shouldn't be one-sided, you know."
Per NBA rules, players and coaches who make intentional contact with game officials get an automatic one-game suspension. The league reviewed the incident before making their decision to suspend Murray, which could have a huge impact for the Hawks as they look avoid elimination on the road to force a Game 6 without arguably their second best player -- who is also not allowed on the premises.
"At the end of the day, I'm suspended," Murray said. "It's been in the past and I'm not going to sit there and worry about it. It is what it is."
The Celtics will look to wrap up the series Tuesday night -- with the Philadelphia 76ers awaiting their second-round opponent -- when they host the Murray-less Hawks in Game 5 from TD Garden. TNT has the tip-off at 7:30 ET.

Joel Pavón

Photo used courtesy Getty Images

No comments:

Post a Comment