While playing in San Antonio in his sophomore year Dejounte Murray made he NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
The 26-year-old point guard was teammates with Kawhi Leonard during that time who played a major role in Murray’s attitude to playing defense and putting in work in general.
“He’s really part of the reason why I made that defensive team my second year,” Murray said about Leonard on All The Smoke podcast. “Like, he came to me he’s, like, ‘Bro, don’t worry about trying to get 15, 20 points,’ he’s, like, ‘Go make all-defensive team.’ He told me that year two training camp.
“He’s, like, ‘Go make all-defensive team, I guarantee you if you make that, now you get on the court.’ Like you said, defense gets you on the court, especially in San Antonio.
“So he’s, like, ‘Go make that defensive team. Now you stamp yourself you could play D. So now they gotta have you on the floor. So if you’re on the floor, your ass gonna have to be able to play offense too.’
“Other than that I took watching him show up every day: off days, game days, practices before all of that putting in work 20, 30 minutes. Just sharpen over there, getting right. After, we practice back on the court. That’s all he wanted to do.
“So for me I’m, like, ‘Damn, this motherf*cker is Finals MVP, already won the Finals, Defensive Player of the Year, All-Star, made money all that life, but he’s in the gym.”
This season Murray is averaging 20.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists in 36.5 minutes per game for the Hawks.