Paolo Banchero, former Duke basketball star and Orlando Magic’s #1 draft pick, is already building tensions in the league.
After some physical altercations with Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray, Banchero escalated their conflict on social media. The two went back and forth on both Twitter and Instagram, with several fans chiming in.
During Isaiah Thomas’ Zeke End tournament in Tacoma, Washington on Sunday night, Banchero was caught having a brief chat with Murray. The feud appears to have started when 6-foot-10, 210-pound Banchero knocked Murray down under the basket. As the ball went the other way and Murray was helped up by other teammates, the Hawks guard collided with Banchero before the rookie patted him on the stomach.
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Murray escalated as the tournament progressed, faking Banchero before alley-ooping himself from the backboard. Banchero and Murray exchanged a few words before the Hawks guard threw the ball at him.
Murray also poked fun at Banchero on the touchline during the tournament. He was heard calling Banchero a “little boy” and saying he was “too soft.”
Despite the end of the tournament on Sunday night, the feud between Murray and Banchero continued on social media. Murray shared the clip of his fakeout on Instagram with the caption addressed 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 exchange personally.
Murray issued another response to Banchero’s story, stating that the newcomer had changed from “the humble boy” as his status increased and that Murray had lost respect for him.
It appears the exchange ended Sunday night after Banchero posted a final reply to Murray’s story.
“The same humble child”, Banchero wrote in another Instagram story. “I’ve always vouched for that, bro, don’t trade the narrative for the internet.”
Dani Mohr is a featured sportswriter for the southern region of the USA Today Network based at The Tennessean in Nashville. Follow her on Twitter @daniraemohr
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: NBA #1 pick Paolo Banchero clashes with Hawks’ Dejounte Murray