Jamal Murray

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jamal Murray
Murray with the Denver Nuggets in 2020
No. 27 – Denver Nuggets
PositionPoint guard
LeagueNBA
Personal information
Born (1997-02-23) February 23, 1997 (age 27)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High schoolGrand River (Kitchener, Ontario)
CollegeKentucky (2015–2016)
NBA draft2016: 1st round, 7th overall pick
Selected by the Denver Nuggets
Playing career2016–present
Career history
2016–presentDenver Nuggets
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Medals
Men's basketball
Representing  Canada
Pan American Games
Silver medal – second place 2015 Toronto National team
FIBA Americas U16 Championship
Bronze medal – third place 2013 Maldonado National team

Jamal Murray (born February 23, 1997) is a Canadian professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He also represents the Canadian national team. He played one season of college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats[1][2] before being drafted by the Nuggets as the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft. Nicknamed "Blue Arrow",[3] he was integral in leading the Nuggets to their first NBA championship in 2023.

Early life[edit]

Murray was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, the son of Sylvia (from Syria) and Roger Murray (born in Jamaica and moved to Canada at age nine).[1][4][5] He also has a younger brother, Lamar. His father grew up running track and field and playing basketball; as a youth, his father played against Kitchener native Lennox Lewis before Lewis began his professional boxing career.[1][4]

When Murray was three years old, he could play basketball "for hours" and at age six played in a league for ten-year-olds.[2][4] By the age of 12 or 13, he began playing pick-up games against top high school and college players. His father put him through many basketball drills and kung fu exercises, including meditation.[2][4]

High school career[edit]

Murray attended Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, later transferring to Orangeville Prep in Orangeville, Ontario, where his father served as an assistant coach.[6] He and fellow prospect Thon Maker formed a duo that helped Orangeville Prep defeat many American schools.[4]

At the 2013 Jordan Brand Classic International Game, Murray was named MVP, becoming the second Canadian to win the award after Duane Notice.[7] At the 2015 Nike Hoop Summit, Murray scored a game-high 30 points and was named the MVP.[8][9]

Murray was named MVP of the 2015 BioSteel All-Canadian Basketball Game, which includes the top high school players in Canada.[1]

Murray played AAU basketball for the CIA Bounce.[2]

College career[edit]

Murray with Kentucky in 2016

On June 24, 2015, Murray reclassified to the class of 2015 and committed to Kentucky to play for coach John Calipari.[10][11][12] As a freshman in 2015–16, he was featured on the Midseason Top 25 list for the John R. Wooden Award,[13] and was named to the 35-man midseason watchlist for the Naismith Trophy.[14] He appeared in 36 games and averaged 20.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.2 assists while shooting 40.8% from three-point range. Following his freshman season, Murray was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.[15] Murray also made the All-SEC First Team and the SEC All-Freshman Team.[16] Murray's 20.0 points per game are the most by any freshman in Kentucky's program history and the most for any player in John Calipari's tenure as head coach.[17]

He led the Wildcats, who had seven future NBA players on the roster, to a #1 ranking early in the season and the SEC title prior to being upset by 5-seed Indiana in the second round of March Madness. In April 2016, Murray declared for the NBA draft, forgoing his final three years of college eligibility.[18]

Professional career[edit]

Denver Nuggets (2016–present)[edit]

2016–2019: Early years and first playoffs[edit]

On June 23, 2016, Murray was selected by the Denver Nuggets as the seventh overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft.[19][20] On August 9, 2016, he signed his rookie scale contract with the Nuggets.[21] On November 13, 2016, he scored a then career-high 19 points in a 112–105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.[22] He topped that mark on November 22, scoring 24 points in a 110–107 win over the Chicago Bulls.[23] On December 1, he was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October and November.[24] On February 17, 2017, Murray was named MVP of the Rising Stars Challenge after posting a game-high 36 points (9-14 3FG) and a game-high 11 assists in Team World's 150–139 victory over Team USA.[25] On April 7, 2017, he scored a career-high 30 points in a 122–106 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[26] At the season's end, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.[27]

On November 11, 2017, Murray scored a career-high 32 points in a 125–107 win over the Orlando Magic.[28] Six days later, he had a 31-point effort in a 146–114 win over the New Orleans Pelicans.[29] On January 22, 2018, he scored a career-high 38 points, including a three-point play in the final minute, as the Nuggets beat the Portland Trail Blazers 104–101.[30] On February 1, 2018, he had a 33-point effort in a 127–124 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.[31] His 90.5% free-throw percentage was fifth in the league and the 10th highest in team history.[32][33]

On November 5, 2018, Murray scored a career-high 48 points in a 115–107 win over the Boston Celtics.[34] On December 18, he had 22 points and a career-high 15 assists in a 126–118 win over the Dallas Mavericks.[35] On December 29, he scored 46 points and made a career-high nine 3-pointers in a 122–118 win over the Phoenix Suns.[36] On January 3, he scored 17 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter of the Nuggets' 117–113 win over the Sacramento Kings.[37] On January 17, he scored 22 of his 25 points in the third quarter of the Nuggets' 135–105 win over the Bulls.[38] On February 6, after missing six games with a sprained left ankle, Murray had 19 points and 11 assists in a 135–130 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.[39] In Game 3 of the Nuggets' second-round playoff series against the Trail Blazers, Murray had a then playoff career-high 34 points in a 140–137 quadruple-overtime loss.[40] In Game 4, he again scored 34 points in a 116–112 win.[41]

2019–2020: Western Conference Finals and NBA Bubble comebacks[edit]

On the first day of free agency period, Murray signed a contract extension of a 5-year, $170 million maximum deal with the Nuggets.[42]

On November 17, 2019, Murray recorded a season-high 39 points and 8 assists, including seven three-pointers, in a 131–114 win over the Memphis Grizzlies.[43] Three days later, during a 105-95 victory over the Houston Rockets, Murray recorded a career-high 6 steals, along with scoring 10 points and adding 9 assists.[44] On December 23, Murray scored 28 points and would knock down a game-winning step-back jumper against the Phoenix Suns with 2.5 seconds remaining in overtime to secure a 113–111 road victory.[45] On January 4, 2020, he tied his season-high 39 points in a 128–114 loss to the Washington Wizards.[46] After missing ten games due to an ankle sprain suffered against Charlotte on January 15,[47][48] Murray returned to have one of the best stretches of his career, averaging 31.3 points per game over a four-game stretch, including 36 points on 14-of-17 shooting and six three-pointers against the Suns on February 8.[49] On March 4, Murray hit yet another game-winner, making an off-balance jumper with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation to seal a 114–112 victory over the Hornets while capping off an 18-point, 6-assist performance.[50]

On August 17, during the Nuggets' first round matchup with the Utah Jazz in the 2020 NBA playoffs, Murray recorded 36 points and 9 assists, scoring 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to lead the Nuggets to a 135–125 Game 1 victory.[51] In Game 4 six days later, Murray erupted for a career-high 50 points, along with 11 rebounds and 7 assists, in a 129–127 loss to the Jazz. With Donovan Mitchell scoring 51, it was the first time in NBA playoff history that two opponents scored at least 50 points in the same game.[52][53] In a potential elimination game in Game 5 with Denver down 3–1 in the series, Murray recorded 42 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists to lead the Nuggets to a 117–107 win and force a Game 6, where Murray again scored 50 points, shooting 9–12 from three and helping the Nuggets extend the series to a Game 7 with a 119–107 victory.[54][55] Following Game 6, Murray became emotional during the postgame interview with TNT’s Jared Greenberg, addressing racial injustice, as well as honoring George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, as each of their pictures were on his shoes.[56]

On September 15, in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Clippers, Murray scored 40 points while hitting six three-pointers, leading the Nuggets to a series-clinching 104–89 win to advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2009. With the win, the Nuggets became the first team in NBA history to comeback from multiple 3–1 deficits in a single postseason.[57] However, the Nuggets would go on to lose in the Western Conference Finals in five games to the eventual NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, with Murray recording 28 points, 8 rebounds, and 12 assists in the lone Denver victory in Game 3.[58]

2020–2022: ACL injury and year absence[edit]

Murray in 2020

On February 19, 2021, Murray scored a career–high 50 points in a 120–103 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.[59] During the game he became the first player in NBA history to score 50 points without attempting a free throw, as well as being the second player to get 50 points while shooting more than 80 percent from the field and from three-point range.[60][61] On April 12, Murray suffered a torn ACL on his left knee during a game against the Golden State Warriors. The following day, the Nuggets announced Murray would be out indefinitely.[62] On April 21, Murray underwent surgery on the torn ACL on his left knee. The same day Nuggets announced that he remained out indefinitely.[63][64] Murray averaged a career-high 21.2 points, 4.8 assists, and 1.3 steals, and shot a career-high 47.7% FG and 40.8% 3FG while playing 35.5 minutes per game.[65]

Although he was never officially shut down for the season, Murray missed the entire 2021–22 campaign while recovering from his ACL tear.[66] Without Murray, the Nuggets lost in 5 games to the Golden State Warriors during the first round of the playoffs.[67]

2022–present: Return from injury and first NBA championship[edit]

On October 19, 2022, Murray played in his first game in eighteen months, scoring 12 points in 26 minutes of playing time during a 123–102 loss to the Utah Jazz.[68] On December 8, Murray scored 21 points including a game-winning three-pointer in a 121–120 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.[69] On January 9, 2023, Murray scored a then-season-high 34 points in a 122–109 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.[70] On February 4, Murray scored a season-high 41 points, along with five rebounds and seven assists in a 128–108 win over the Atlanta Hawks.[71] On March 10, in a game against the San Antonio Spurs, Murray made his 805th career three-pointer and surpassed Will Barton to become the all-time leader in three-pointers made in Nuggets history.[72] His 172 three-pointers was fifth in franchise history, but second that season behind teammate Michael Porter Jr.'s 188.[33]

In Game 2 of the Nuggets' first round playoff series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Murray scored 40 points in a 122–113 win. This was his fifth 40-point postseason game, passing Alex English for the franchise record.[73] In Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Murray recorded 34 points, 5 rebounds and 9 assists in a 125–107 win over the Phoenix Suns.[74] In Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, Murray scored 23 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, along with 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, propelling the Nuggets to a 108–103 come-from-behind win over the Los Angeles Lakers for a 2–0 lead in the series.[75] In Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals, Murray scored 30 of his 37 points in the first half, along with seven rebounds and six assists in a 119–108 win, helping the Nuggets take a commanding 3–0 series lead. [76] Murray was again an integral part of the Nuggets during Game 4, during which he scored 25 points en route to a 113–111 victory. With the win, the Nuggets completed a 4-game sweep of the Lakers and advanced to their first-ever NBA Finals appearance. He also became the first player in NBA history to average 30 points on 50/40/90 shooting in the Conference Finals.[77]

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Murray put up 26 points and 10 assists in a 104–93 win over the Miami Heat. He and Nikola Jokić also became only the second pair of teammates in NBA history to each put up at least 25 points and 10 assists in an NBA Finals game since Magic Johnson and James Worthy in the 1987 NBA Finals.[78] In Game 3, Murray posted a 30-point triple-double with 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a 109–94 win over the Heat. He and Jokić became the first teammates in NBA history (regular season or playoffs) to record 30-point triple-doubles in the same game.[79] In Game 4, Murray put up 15 points and 12 assists in a 108–95 win over the Heat. He also became the first player in NBA history to put up at least 10 assists in each of his first four Finals games.[80] In Game 5, Murray put up 14 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists in a 94–89 win over the Heat to help lead the Nuggets to their first NBA championship in franchise history. He also averaged 21.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 10.0 assists per game in the Finals, joining Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James as the only players in NBA history to average at least 20 points and 10 assists per game in an NBA Finals series.[81][82]

Career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
 †  Won an NBA championship  *  Led the league

NBA[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2016–17 Denver 82* 10 21.5 .404 .334 .883 2.6 2.1 .6 .3 9.9
2017–18 Denver 81 80 31.7 .451 .378 .905 3.7 3.4 1.0 .3 16.7
2018–19 Denver 75 74 32.6 .437 .367 .848 4.2 4.8 .9 .4 18.2
2019–20 Denver 59 59 32.3 .456 .346 .881 4.0 4.8 1.1 .3 18.5
2020–21 Denver 48 48 35.5 .477 .408 .869 4.0 4.8 1.3 .3 21.2
2022–23 Denver 64 64 32.9 .453 .398 .832 4.0 6.2 1.0 .2 20.0
Career 410 335 30.5 .447 .373 .869 3.7 4.2 1.0 .3 16.9

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2019 Denver 14 14 36.3 .425 .337 .903 4.4 4.7 1.0 .1 21.3
2020 Denver 19 19 39.6 .505 .453 .897 4.8 6.6 .9 .3 26.5
2023 Denver 20 20 39.9 .473 .396 .926 5.7 7.1 1.5 .3 26.1
Career 53 53 38.9 .473 .404 .910 5.0 6.3 1.2 .2 25.0

College[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2015–16 Kentucky 36 36 35.2 .454 .408 .783 5.2 2.2 1.0 .3 20.0

National team career[edit]

Murray represented Canada at the 2013 FIBA Americas Under-16 Championship in Uruguay, and averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game in leading the team to a bronze medal.[83] He played for the Canadian national team at the 2015 Pan American Games, helping the team win a silver medal.[84] His final averages for the tournament were 16.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, while shooting 45.9% from the field.

On May 24, 2022, Murray agreed to a three-year commitment to play with the Canadian senior men's national team.[85] He joined Canada in their preparations for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup, but eventually decided to miss the competition to recover from his championship-winning NBA season.[86]

Awards and honors[edit]

NBA
College
  • Third-team All-AmericanAP (2016)
  • First-team All-SEC (2016)
  • SEC All-Freshman Team (2016)
  • SEC All-Tournament Team (2016)

References[edit]

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External links[edit]