Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray under investigation by NBA

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

There could be some form of discipline coming for Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray.

“The NBA is investigating Hawks guard Dejounte Murray’s actions toward officials at the end of Game 4 Sunday night,” reported ESPN’s Tim Bontemps on April 23 citing league sources.

As the Hawks were walking off the court following their 129-121 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 4, Murray walked up to and made contact with official Gediminas Petraitis. Murray said something to Petraitis, continued walking off the court, and then doubled back to say something else, though it is unclear if the second set of comments was directed at the same person.

Murray finished the night with 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

He was whistled for four personal fouls and, even though the Hawks were called for one more personal foul as a team, Murray is not the only one who felt as though Petraitis was not calling his best game.

Unfortunately for Murray, the NBA rules are pretty clear about making contact with an official and it could have dire consequences for his team, per Item II, Section E of the NBA rules:

"Any player or coach guilty of intentional physical contact with an official shall automatically be suspended without pay for one game. A fine and/or longer period of suspension will result if circumstances so dictate."

There does not appear to be much wiggle room in the first part.

Where things could get tricky for Murray is that the game was already over and he still went out of his way to seek out Petraitis who was seen having numerous conversations with Celtics guard Marcus Smart throughout the night.

Murray did not take part in media sessions after the game.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum called into question by Atlanta Hawks fans

During the game, Celtics star Jayson Tatum also made contact with Petraitis, pushing past him to complain about what he felt was a missed foul call as he drove the lane. The play went to review and Trae Young was tagged with a Flagrant 1 foul call.

Naturally, this has been brought up in defense of Murray with discipline seemingly on the horizon as user @_crisisntdead_ tweeted, “Nah id be mad too if Tatum could just push that man and get no tech.”

“Is Tatum allowed to push refs out the way,” tweeted @HawksFansTV.

While losing Tatum –28.5 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 4.3 APG on .448/.400/.870 shooting in the series – would be a big blow for Boston, it wouldn’t help the Hawks to also lose Murray in the process.

The Hawks’ big offseason addition has averaged 25.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.3 steals while shooting 45.6% from the floor, 39.4% from beyond the arc, and 100% at the free throw line, though he’s only gotten there 1.5 times per game, perhaps offering a clue into his dissatisfaction with Petraitis.

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Game 5 is set for 7 p.m. ET in Boston where the Hawks have lost six straight including the regular and postseason.