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‘My Brother’: Rockets Kevin Porter Jr. Offers Insight into Hawks' Dejounte Murray

Inside The Rockets on FanNation logo Inside The Rockets on FanNation 8/10/2022 Coty M. Davis
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With many questioning his character following a heated pro-am battle over the weekend, Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. understands the struggles Dejounte Murray overcame to NBA stardom.

HOUSTON — Dejounte Murray has been a trending topic in the NBA following his performance at the Zeke-End pro-am basketball tournament in Washington on Sunday. 

Murray's impressive performance was not the reason behind the publicity; it was his on-court treatment of Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero that made Murray a top subject.

The beef between the two Seattle natives elevated with an emotional back-and-forth on social media following the game.

A nasty ball fake and smack talk has led to the general public starving for the backstory between Banchero and Murray. But Murray's latest affair has left some wondering what has gotten into the one-time All-Star following his departure from the San Antonio Spurs.

The Atlanta Hawks acquired Murray from the Spurs in June.

Another Seattle native, Houston Rockets budding star Kevin Porter Jr. may know, the history behind what led to the spicy on-court interaction on Sunday. But maybe Porter's knowledge of Murray's rise to basketball prominence holds more value than a random summer league beef with Banchero.

"That's my brother — blood cannot make us any closer," Porter said when speaking on Murray's first All-Star appearance in February. "I know his background and his story. To see him get the recognition he deserves — I'm just so proud of him."

During their lone season as teammates on Rainier Beach High's varsity basketball team, Porter and Murray developed a close-knit relationship. After watching Murray's growth and development on and off the court, Porter once described the journey of his "brother" as a "beautiful story."

Murray shared via Twitter in May that he served a month in a juvenile detention center a decade ago. Murray vowed at 15 years old that he would change his life and never return to jail, even as cynical security guards assured him he would be back.

Four years after his release, Porter witnessed Murray rise from a teenager in a juvenile detention center to a young man drafted by the Spurs with the No. 29 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

His testament concluded that the same guards who told him he would return to jail are now asking for pictures and autographs. Murray provided a path for Porter to follow en route to his NBA journey. 

"To have someone to look up to, him experiencing what he was experiencing, and me being able to learn from that, was definitely making me a believer — more of a believer in myself," Porter said. "I plan on spending a lot of time with him this offseason to get more tips from him." 

The two friends have played five games against each other in the NBA, Murray holding a 3-2 record.  

Porter's best game against Murray took place on Mar. 28 in a Rockets' 123-120 home loss to the Spurs. Porter fell short of a triple-double with 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in the loss. He has averaged 14.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.2 assists against Murray for his career. … with more to come - beefs notwithstanding.

You can follow Coty Davis on Twitter @CotyDavis_24

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