Hawks' Dejounte Murray reacts to rival firing championship-winning HC

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray hinted at a lack of accountability after a rival head coach was fired.
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray
Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

Atlanta Hawks star Dejounte Murray is all about accepting responsibility.

When the Hawks moved on from Nate McMillan to eventually hire Quin Snyder, Murray defended the outgoing head coach and said the players had not done their part to avoid that outcome.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Murray would have a visceral reaction to seeing another coach serve as a fall guy for a team’s disappointing season, even a rival.

After getting word the Phoenix Suns fired Head Coach Frank Vogel, Murray reacted.

It’s Crazy How Coaches Get Blamed Before The Players!!!!!” Murray said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on May 9.”

Vogel was in his first season at the helm for Phoenix. He replaced Monty Williams, who departed as the winningest coach in franchise history but was fired after a disappointing end to the 2022-23 season. 

It was Williams’ fourth season at the helm.

It was his first with Kevin Durant on the roster. Durant arrived at the trade deadline that season in a deal that depleted many of the Suns’ best trade assets and role players.

Vogel’s first head coaching stint came with the Indiana Pacers where, were it not for LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers and a freak injury to Paul George, he might have pushed for a berth in the NBA Finals.

He then landed with the Orlando Magic for a two-year, mostly forgettable stint.

Vogel rose back to prominence after being hired by the Los Angeles Lakers where he guided the team to their 17th NBA title in the Orlando bubble.

Notably, Vogel’s teams have made the playoffs eight times in his 12 seasons at the helm since the 2010-11 season. The Suns have four appearances in that same span, including this year’s first-round sweep by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Suns are said to be eyeing former Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer to replace Vogel.

Budenholzer would be the second former Hawks coach to land a job at this point of the offseason, joining former assistant Charles Lee.

Lee – who began his career under Budenholzer – is reunited with another former Hawk, former assistant general manager Jeff Peterson who is now the executive president of basketball operations with the division-rival Charlotte Hornets.

Trae Young makes poignant note about NBA refs

NBA officiating has gotten a lot of attention this postseason, and far too often for the wrong reason.

An apparent missed call on Josh Hart’s push in the back on Tyrese Haliburton drew the ire of Head Coach Rick Carlisle after Game 2 between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks. The Pacers submitted 78 examples of what they consider missed calls.

While their efforts might be more show than substance in the end, they aren’t alone in thinking the officiating leaves a lot to be desired.

“Is it just me or is everyday there’s more ref debate recently,” Young posed on X on May 8.

The most telling part of Young’s comment is that the officials are are indeed driving the conversation during and after games. That they are constantly a major part of the main storyline in any game is seemingly antithetical to their purpose.

It also isn’t anything new, so it’s hard to believe any significant changes are in the pipeline for the near or even distant future.