After his stunning performances during these playoffs, Jamal Murray has become the talk of the league. Coming back from 3-1 twice to advance to the conference finals has made him and his Nuggets the ultimate underdog story. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Denver’s Canadian sensation.
1. When he was younger, Jamal’s father would make him do push-ups in the snow to increase his pain tolerance.
2. Jamal was competing in basketball leagues with 10 year olds by the age of 6.
3. While in high school, at Orangeville Prep in Ontario, Murray’s team would defeat many American schools with teammate Thon Maker.
4. Murray’s 20 ppg in college were the most ever by a Kentucky freshman.
5. In game 7 against the Clippers, Jamal had the highest scoring quarter in game 7 history with 20 points in the 2nd.
6. Last summer, Jamal Murray signed the richest sports contract in history for a Canadian athlete, with his 5 year, $170 million extension.
7. By the age of 13, Murray was already playing pick-up games against high school and college players.
8. As well as idolizing MJ and Vince Carter, Bruce Lee is one of Jamal’s main inspirations, and part of how he has become so focused on his craft.
9. A coach once had to confiscate Jamal’s basketball shoes so he would not overwork himself and get hurt. Two hours later, Murray was in the gym playing barefoot.
10. In 2015, in a Pan am Games victory over the heavily favored US team, Murray dropped 22 in the 4th and overtime, sealing what was at the time a shocking upset.
As you can see, Murray’s playoff success in 2020 is in no way a fluke. He has always had incredible talent, and a ridiculous work ethic. He has continued to defy the odds and put Canadian basketball on the map. Heading into the conference finals, there are obvious reasons to doubt whether the Nuggets can pull off another upset against the Lakers. However, we would all be foolish to count them out again, after the performances their young Canadian star has produced.