INSIDE THE NUGGETS

Jamal Murray shares his plan for Paris Olympics

May 20, 2024, 10:21 AM

DENVER—Denver Nuggets fans won’t have to wait until the start of the next NBA season to see star guard Jamal Murray play basketball, he shared on Sunday night that he remains committed to Team Canada for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The 27-year-old from Ontario has yet to play for the senior Canadian national team in competition, pulling out of the World Cup last summer due to health. But the Nuggets season ended earlier in 2024 with the Blue Arrow playing 14 fewer games between the regular season and postseason combined. Though the second-round exit from the playoffs wasn’t all to blame, Murray missed a good chunk of the season with leg injuries. And Denver’s season ended with Murray hobbled by a calf strain.

On the year, Murray averaged career highs in points per game (21.2,) assists per game (6.5,) and shooting (48.1%.)

Canada is expected to be a serious contender for Gold in Paris. Only Team USA and Serbia have better odds at winning it all, and Nikola Jokic was noncommital on playing in the games on Sunday. Without Murray, Canada topped Team USA for bronze in the World Cup last summer, with a Jokic-less Serbia falling to Germany in the title game.

The great white north will feature Murray alongside NBA MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander with his Oklahoma City Thunder teammate Lu Dort. They will be joined by two more NBA teammates in Raptors players Kelly Olynyk and RJ Barrett. Then there are two players squaring off in the Western Conference Finals, Dwight Powell and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Plus East finalist Andrew Nembhard, defender Dillion Brooks, former champion Andrew Wiggins and National Player of the Year in college Zach Edey.

The group will be coached by former Denver Nuggets assistant Jordi Fernandez. His efforts last year in the World Cup have gotten him all sorts of NBA head coaching job attention.

Canada plays a friendly in Las Vegas against the red, white and blue on July 10. Olympic basketball begins on July 27 with Canada expected to play Giannis’ Greece or Luka’s Slovenia.

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