Early Wednesday morning on the Ball Arena court, Dejounte Murray put himself and his sore right foot through a sweat-filled workout meant to determine if he would be able to take his usual spot in the Spurs’ starting lineup that night in Denver.
Ultimately, two factors weighed heavily in Murray’s decision to suit up.
“We get paid a lot of money,” Murray said, “and it’s a foot.”
In the short term, Murray’s return after a one-game absence did not give the Spurs the boost they were seeking.
Despite 18 points and two steals from Murray, the Spurs dropped a 106-96 decision in Denver for their fourth loss in a row.
In the longer view, Murray’s insistence on rejoining his team’s uphill playoff fight underscored the leadership role the 24-year-old has carved in his fifth year with the Spurs.
“I know how important it is to have all our guys,” Murray said before the Spurs prepared for a rematch with Denver at Ball Arena on Friday. “There has been a lot thrown at us this season — COVID, guys hurt. As you could see, I was hurt last game (against Cleveland). So we need everybody, from the first guy on down.”
DeJounte Murray shoots and scores against the Sacramento Kings during NBA action in the AT&T Center on Monday, March 29, 2021. Coach Gregg Popovich watches in the background.
Billy Calzada, Staff / Staff Photographer
As a point guard, Murray takes…