Atlanta Hawks guard Dejounte Murray could miss Game 5 of the first-round series against the Boston Celtics. The league reportedly opened an investigation into the controversial player’s actions against an NBA official after the final buzzer Sunday at State Farm Arena.
Murray, 26, slightly shoved referee Gediminas Petraitis after Game 4 and seemingly said something right in his face. The official did not retaliate and simply looked puzzled.
Hawks did not make Murray available to speak with the media after the loss, which gave the Celtics a 3-1 series lead, and are now just one win away from once again reaching the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Celtics forward Grant Williams is a great, recent example of what the league does to players who touch a referee.
Williams, 24, received a one-game suspension in October for making contact with a ref after getting ejected in the fourth quarter of a defeat to the Chicago Bulls.
Dejounte Murray will be missed
A one-game suspension for Murray is the likeliest scenario and would all-but-eliminate the Hawks.
Boston would go on to face the Philadelphia 76ers, who swept the Brooklyn Nets in round one.
Murray also has a history of aggression against officials. Last season, while playing for the San Antonio Spurs, he received a $20,000 fine for throwing the basketball off a referee’s legs.
The NBA recently suspended Golden State Warriors veteran Draymond Greenbased on his track record, so a similar outcome is expected for Murray.