“I’m just thankful to have somebody like that in my corner” – Former NBA All-Star opens up on his relationship with Lebron James, mentions LBJ as his mentor on and off the court since he was 17

San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers
Dejounte Murray and LeBron James

Dejounte Murray has cemented himself as one of the best players in the league over the last five years. Last season served somewhat as a breakout season for Murray as he earned his first All-Star selection. Before joining the NBA, however, Murray began being mentored by LeBron James.

For the Hawks guard, the mentorship extended beyond just the basketball court. Over the last decade, Murray has been mentored by James off the court just as much as he has on it. Murray spoke about the relationship during a recent Q&A with Atlanta media members.

“Great man, great leader, great father, great basketball player. Somebody that took me under his wing around 17 years old. … I’m just thankful to have somebody like that in my corner guiding me off the floor, and also on the floor."

The mentorship will undoubtedly be crucial as Dejounte Murray and the Hawks look to make a deep playoff push this season. For the 2022 steals leader, joining the Hawks presents an opportunity to take his career to the next level.

Dejounte Murray and The Atlanta Hawks Quest For An Eastern Conference Title

Dejounte Murray - San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans
Dejounte Murray - San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans

Despite Murray's breakout season, the San Antonio Spurs came up short in the play-in tournament. As the 10th seed, the franchise had its playoff hopes snuffed out by the New Orleans Pelicans, marking the end of a mediocre season.

This offseason, however, Murray was traded to the Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari and several other assets. Murray averaged 21.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.2 assists and 2.0 steals per game last season.

The trade pairs the All-Star guard with Trae Young, one of the most lethal scorers in the league. Young averaged 28.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 9.7 assists last season. He made his second All-Star appearance and earned a spot on the All-NBA third team.

With the dynamic duo united under the Atlanta franchise banner, there are plenty of reasons for Hawks fans to be excited.

Last season, the Atlanta Hawks won their play-in tournament bid against the Charlotte Hornets. Despite Trae Young's stellar performance, the team lost to the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. With the addition of Murray, the Hawks could put the league on notice.

The Hawks have made back-to-back playoff appearances. In 2021, they advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals. They lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in six games.

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Edited by Chad Marriott
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