BOSTON (AP) — Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray expressed remorse Tuesday for the one-game suspension he received for bumping and verbally abusing an official — a suspension that’ll happen Tuesday night, when his team could be eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Murray said at the team’s morning shootaround that he regretted not being available for Game 5 in Boston. Atlanta trails the Celtics 3-1 in their first-round series.
“At the end of the day I’m a grown man and I hold my own and I take full responsibility for not being able to play for my teammates, the fans and just the organization as a whole,” Murray said.
The NBA announced the discipline Monday for the incident, which occurred after the Hawks’ 129-121 loss in Game 4. After the horn sounded, Murray bumped official Gediminas Petraitis with his chest while walking off the court and turned to yell something at the referee before he was pulled away and directed toward the locker room.
Murray said Tuesday that his actions were related to previous interactions he’s had with Petraitis.
“There was lot that led up to it. A lot,” Murray said. “A lot of ignoring. A lot of brushing me off, brushing my teammates off. Just asking questions of how we can be better. And even just with that individual, it goes back to San Antonio, where I don’t know why that person treated me the way he treated me over the years.”
Murray added he has good relationships nd interacts well with “98% of the refs” in the NBA, saying: “whatever happened, happened. I just feel like we all should be held accountable — players, coaches, even the referees. It shouldn’t be one-sided. It should be all be fair.”
Murray scored 23 points in Game 4, but it was his worst outing of the series. He is averaging 25.3 points so far in the postseason, leaving a huge hole for the Hawks to fill in hopes of keeping the season alive.
Boston is 27-0 in best-of-seven playoff series after building a 3-1 lead.
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