The NBA’s 2017-18 All-Rookie first team consisted of four players who had played at least three games in their rookie season. Two of those were selected as starters. One was a surprise choice. And the fourth? A guy everyone expected would make the cut.
Dejounte Murray didn’t start playing basketball until his sophomore year of high school. He went undrafted, and spent a couple years in France before signing with the Spurs last summer. In his second season in the league, he became the first player in NBA history to score 35 points, grab 10 rebounds, dish out seven assists, and block five shots in a game. On Wednesday night, he scored 15 points, grabbed nine boards, dished out seven assists and blocked five shots while helping San Antonio beat the Warriors 124-121.
“I think I lost all my respect for,” Murray said after the game. “That’s what happens when you dunk on someone.” The dunk happened late in regulation. Murray got an outlet pass and drove right into the lane, where he took off toward the basket. His momentum carried him past the defender guarding him, and he dunked over two defenders with his left hand.
“He’s a really competitive kid,” Murray said about Banchero afterwards. “You couldn’t just tell me not to do something. You’d have to show me. He showed me today.” Murray and Banchero grew up together in France. When they were teenagers, Banchero told Murray that if he ever dunked on him, he’d never play again. That’s exactly what happened.
“Yeah, I’m going to be alright,” Murray said, laughing. “It’ll heal up soon. I’ve seen worse things happen.” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called Murray a “special talent.”
“He’s got good hands,” Popovich added. “He likes to put them around people’s heads. He seems like a pretty smart young man.” Murray was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November, averaging 19.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
“I don’t know how many times I’m going to get to say this, but we’re trying to win games,” Murray said afterward. “We’re not trying to lose games. We’re trying to win games.” TALLAHASSEE — Florida State football announced Saturday the hiring of Willie Taggart as its head coach. Taggart,
52, was introduced as FSU’s 27th head coach during a press conference at Doak Campbell Stadium.