Ever since he was a kid growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, Jamal Murray has been looking for his next adventure. His father, Roger, would often disconnect the cable on their television at home, and Murray went through high school without a cell phone. Because of this, he found joy in outdoor activities like swimming and camping.
What was once a necessity for keeping himself from being bored has now become an essential part of his life. These days, Murray enjoys plenty about living in Denver during the NBA season, specifically the time he’s been able to spend in the mountains, free from all of the noise and distractions that comes with being a budding star in the league.
“It’s perfect for me to be able to get away from people, be in my own space, and on my own time,” Murray told Dime.
Beneath the quietness lies a 21-year-old point guard with a burning desire to become one of the league’s best. Murray set high expectations for himself last season, coming in as the seventh overall pick in the 2016 draft and eager to prove he wasn’t just another NBA prospect with hype but not a lot of substance.
In his first year with the Nuggets, Murray played in all 82 games and averaged 9.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists a night. But he battled a sports hernia all season, and alternated between the point guard and shooting guard position. The injury bothered Murray, who knew he wasn’t able to demonstrate his skills at full strength. He was elated to come to training camp last September with a clean bill of health.
“It feels like another rookie season to me, to be honest,” Murray says.