It seems Paolo Banchero has a rival even before playing a single NBA regular season game. On a random Sunday evening in the offseason, the No.1 pick in this year's NBA Draft got into it with Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, who was caught on video trash-talking Banchero after crossing him over in an exhibition game on Sunday.
The Banchero-Murray beef
After executing his slick move that embarrassed Banchero, Murray went to his team's bench and added the icing on top of the cake with a savage and warning message for the rookie. According to the All-Star, Banchero isn't on his level.
Then afterward, the clip went around social media, specifically on Instagram, where Banchero saw the disrespect. The Orlando Magic forward clapped back and mocked Murray for taking things personally between them. Murray replied and said that Banchero should stay humble and stop boasting about the fact that he was the number 1 pick in this year's draft.
"You tried to flex that #1 pick s**t on me when I been rooting for you when you was a kid asking to rebound for me @Paolo5 Don't get on this internet saying nothing. You changed from the humble kid you always was and I stand on real s**t boy and YOU KNOW!!!!!!!! You made it and changed and I lost all respect!!!," Murray said via his Instagram story.
"Stay humble. This life you in now is real and aint no joke!!! I still wanna see you win cause that's who I am," Murray added.
Banchero responded by claiming that Murray was trying to twist the narrative in bad faith.
"Same humble kid always vouched for you, bro don't switch the narrative for the internet. Shoutout IT tho for a great event," Banchero shared via his Instagram story.
A rivalry in the making
Ironically, both Banchero and Murray are from Seatle, and the former looked up to the latter as one of his favorite basketball players. Luckily for NBA fans who are enjoying the beef between these two rising players, they're going to go head-to-head at least 3 times this coming season as both their teams are in the Eastern Conference. Maybe the next Hawks-Magic game would even be premiered on national television.
Could this be the next player rivalry in the NBA? Or is it one of those stories where they both are on bad terms and end up squashing their beef when the season starts? We'll know what happens in a few months. But for now, safe to say that this has been the most dramatic sequence in the NBA offseason in weeks.