Paolo Banchero caught beef from Orlando Magic’s division rival

Paolo Banchero has had a busy offseason with another pro-am run and some beef from a division rival. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Paolo Banchero has had a busy offseason with another pro-am run and some beef from a division rival. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

Last weekend, the NBA world was buzzing about Paolo Banchero’s 50-point game at the CrawsOver. The Orlando Magic rookie went deep into his bag and put on a show for the assembled masses in Seattle for the pro-am.

The following day, the Atlanta Hawks’ trio of Dejounte Murray, Trae Young and John Collins made their debut together. It did not generate the same kind of buzz but created the same kind of highlights that filtered through NBA Twitter.

At the end of the day, that is what this is supposed to be. It is supposed to be an entertaining aside. Especially in basketball-crazy Seattle, a city that has produced so many NBA and college players and is still missing an NBA team.

One of the godfathers of modern Seattle basketball in Isaiah Thomas hosted his pro-am this weekend in Tacoma with Jamal Crawford’s pro-am taking the weekend off.

Paolo Banchero returned to his hometown in Washington to play in another local pro-am hosted by a basketball luminary. He left with some beef with one of the Orlando Magic’s division rivals.

Banchero once again participated and had plenty of highlights in leading his team to the championship game where he met up with a fellow Seattle native (and Washington alum) in Murray.

Then this happened just before halftime:

Yeah, that is a nice play. No doubt about it.

Murray caught Banchero looking and made the rookie pay for it.

Never mind this is a pro-am and defensive attention to detail is not that great. Also never mind Murray is a one-time All-Star from the 2022 season doing this against a rookie. This will not be the last time an established player tries to go after Banchero directly like this. He will see plenty of that when the regular season begins.

That is not what everyone ended up talking about. Apparently Banchero has his first real NBA beef.

After the play, Murray appeared to get directly into Banchero’s face and even throw the ball at the Magic rookie.

It being the age of social media, Banchero took to social media to comment on the play after finding out Murray unfollowed him on Instagram. He said things must be personal before telling him to bring his defense when they meet again in the regular season instead of sending doubles at him.

Murray clapped back claiming Banchero was trying to “flex” and demanding Banchero remain humble.

Banchero got the final word, seemingly laughing it off and saying he is the same humble kid who vouched for Murray in the past.

Although those days appear to be over.

And that is how the next great Southeast Division beef started — surprisingly not involving Jimmy Butler or Trae Young. This seemed like something unknown to everyone and just bubbled to the surface during this game.

There was some real animosity it felt like in the aftermath of a pro-am play, as nice as it was.

It is. . . something.

And it does not seem like it is something that is just going to go away quietly once the season starts. No matter what their past history together might have been.

Murray certainly seemed to be going after Banchero as his team won. At the end of the game, video from Home Team Hoops had Murray coming off the floor asking, “That’s who you came to see? This is a man’s league. that’s a little boy.”

Although if you watch the full highlight reel of both players, it definitely seemed like Banchero muscled his way past everyone in front of him including Murray. If this is Banchero being a little boy, he is still plenty physical.

Banchero still had a good weekend. He put all of his talents on display, although the competition at Isaiah Thomas’ Zeek End does not look to be even the same levels as the CrawsOver from last weekend.

Banchero is barnstorming the Summer League circuit and still turning heads and impressing.

Of course, this is not the NBA. And that will be a test for the rookie.

Murray is right about that. Although Banchero got his licks on Murray too (again an All-Star last year). It is hard to imagine Banchero will not be able to hold his own on an NBA court.

To what extent is the great mystery and the exciting part about this upcoming season.

Like everything in Summer League and especially in these pro-ams, it is ultimately meaningless. The players are out there trying to have a good time.

For some reason, Murray was out there trying to embarrass the young rookie. Maybe taking things a bit too seriously.

We will see if this beef carries over to when the two face off each other. The Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks will see each other four times this season. And that rivalry has been bubbling a bit, even with the Magic near the bottom of the standings.

This only add fuel to that fire.

If that was his aim, he certainly failed. It is easy to see Banchero not giving into those games, laughing it all off and having a good time. He understood the assignment.

Next. Orlando Magic offseason gets a passing grade. dark

But the rookie has his first bona fide beef.