This is a new season and Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is only looking forward.
Asked about the differences between former Hawks head coach Nate McMillan and his successor, Quin Snyder, Murray declined.
“I’m not talking about Nate,” Murray said via atlhawksfans on October 18. “They’re different guys. My coach is Quin Snyder. Our coach is Quin Snyder. And Nate’s my guy. I got real love for Nate, and his family, him as a player, as a coach. But we’re not talking about Nate right now. We have Quin Snyder as our coach, and he’s doing a great thing for us.”
McMillan was at the helm when the Hawks acquired Murray from the San Antonio Spurs ahead of last season. And he went through most of his first season in Atlanta with McMillan the top voice on the sideline.
Murray was one of several Hawks to weigh on on McMillan’s departure after the All-Star break.
The Hawks were one game below .500 at 29-30 and were eighth in the Eastern Conference standings.
“I do feel bad because it’s not just on Nate McMillan,” Murray said in February. “I use the accountability word on the court, off the court. And like I said, it’s not just one guy to blame. So, I hope people that’s making all these reports…just know, it ain’t on Nate McMillan. It’s we all got to look in the mirror and take responsibility and part of this and we all got to be better.”
Separately, Murray has raved about Snyder and the connection he has formed with the former Utah Jazz coach. Murray has admitted his first season in Atlanta was challenging – understandable with a front office reshuffle and the coaching change.
But he has also welcomed the opportunity to rise to that challenge.
To that end, Murray and Young led by example this offseason, getting back to Atlanta sooner to get work in this offseason.
Murray averaged 20.5 points, 6.1 assists, and 5.3 rebounds last season, paring with Young to become the second set of teammates in NBA history to both post similar lines in the same season. But, like Young, Murray is not settling for that, aiming much higher for what will be his seventh NBA season.
“Be better than last year,” Murray said when asked for his goals for the season on media day via the team. “Establish an identity from jump … and win and be a top-four seed. Being a Play-In team is not optional.”
Hawks’ Trae Young aiming high for pairing with Dejounte Murray
Young has talked about how he doesn’t feel as though he’s won anything in the NBA yet despite the Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2020-21. He says he wants “more”. But he’s also talked glowingly about why he believes in the fit alongside Murray towards that goal.
“You got to have guys on the court that can think,” Young said on “From The Point by Trae Young” on August 4. “So when sometimes you’re getting trapped you throw to somebody who doesn’t know what to do when he catches it…it’s harder. But having a guy like DJ, I can throw it to him and I know he’s in attack mode.”
It’s not surprising that Murray is looking to compare either coach. He has taken on a leadership role since arriving and this is just another example.
There is nothing to gain from revisiting the differences between coaches, especially since the change happened last season.