«

»

Jamal Murray: “I always believe I am the best player”

Jamal Murray admits he sometimes takes shots he believes he can make that UK coaches don't consider good shots. (Vicky Graff Photo)

Jamal Murray. (Vicky Graff Photo)

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Here is what Kentucky’s Jamal Murray had to say after being picked seventh by Denver at the NBA Draft here Thursday night.

THE MODERATOR: Jamal, start with an opening statement about what you’ll bring to Denver.

JAMAL MURRAY: A great attitude, and I’m very excited. So much to give to this game, just blessed to be in the NBA and helping this team in any way I can, and I know this team really wants me, so I’ll be delivering the most to them.

Q. Your high school Coach Larry Blunt tweeted that he knew because you slid a little bit from where you thought you belonged, there would be fire in your heart from this. Is he right about you on that?
JAMAL MURRAY: Obviously. Always. I always believe I’m the best player, and when a team really sees the No. 1 choice, like Denver did, then I just want to play for them more. I want to give them all I’ve got, and I just want to learn and be ready to compete.

Q. You’ve got Emmanuel Mudiay. How do you feel you’ll play with him? And talk about the Denver roster.
JAMAL MURRAY: Me and Mudiay, we played in the Hoops Summit together for one year. So I kind of got to see what he’s like. He’s a great player and he’s a great guy. Family person, and we’ll be a good team. We’ll be working together and playing off each other.

Q. Coach Cal was all over ESPN today just singing your laurels. What’s something that he taught you that you’re going to take with you to this level?
JAMAL MURRAY: He taught me a lot of 2-guard stuff, coming off screens, the angle to come off of, shot selection, the different reads that are going to be there when you get to the paint. Just a lot. A great college decision, the best school in the NCAA, and the best coach.

Q. And speaking of that best school, Kentucky has the most, by far, NBA players. How many of those players have you spoken to?
JAMAL MURRAY: A good amount. I don’t want to go through naming all of them, but great guys. They’ve already been through it. They always want to give advice, and I’m just wanting to learn.

Q. Being from Italy, I have to ask you about Danilo Gallinari, your teammate. What do you think about him?
JAMAL MURRAY: Great shooter, spreads the floor well, plays hard, great emotion, someone I want to play with. We both shoot the ball well, and it’ll be cool to have a shootout with him.

Q. What was going through your mind as you waited through the third, fourth, fifth picks?
JAMAL MURRAY: You know, what every player waits on, you’re just waiting for your name to get called. You don’t know what’s behind the scenes, you don’t know the trades, you don’t know when the clock runs out what happens. You’re just waiting for Adam Silver to make the announcement. So I was just patiently waiting, and I got picked up by a great team.

Q. We know you’re a great three-point shooter, but besides that, what can you bring to the table day one that’s going to help the Nuggets this year?
JAMAL MURRAY: Play-making, making that option that can pass for others and get others open with my shooting. Just going to be an all-around player, the player that you can’t leave open, the player you’ve got to pay attention to on the court at all times.

Q. Thon obviously goes 10; how are you feeling right now about that, your old teammate there?
JAMAL MURRAY: He’s a great player, great person, hard work ethic. He’s going to be something special. He wants it, and you can tell. I love playing with guys that have the same fire.

Q. Do you believe the story? That’s such an incredible story.
JAMAL MURRAY: It’s an amazing story. He’s an amazing player, and he deserved all of it. I’m just happy for him. I can’t wait to see him go and get started.

Q. Did you work out for Denver? The reason I’m asking is it’s a mile-high city, a lot of real big activity there. I’m wondering if that’s something of concern just getting used to being 5,000 feet up in altitude.
JAMAL MURRAY: Never been to Denver other than a connecting flight. But no, I have very good breathing. I know how to control it. I know what to do when I lack air. I think I’ll fit perfectly. I’ll just get better, even my meditation with that.

 

 

Leave a Reply