Steve Kerr once compared Jamal Murray to Steph Curry: “He shoots it, catch-and-shoot, or off the dribble, like Steph”

In 2019, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr talked to the New York Times about coaching the NBA’s best 3-point shooting backcourt in the Splash Brothers and about his tenure as an NBA sharpshooter during the 1990s. While providing insight about Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Kerr compared Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray to the best shooter that has ever played the game.

“One thing I really learned from Steph and Klay is that they generate rhythm before the shot. I was really a catch-and-shoot guy. A lot of times he (Steph) will build the rhythm for his shot with the dribble. So there’s a flow to his shot that I don’t remember anyone else having in the past,” Kerr said. “Jamal Murray is on his way to becoming one of those guys. He shoots it, catch-and-shoot, or off the dribble, like Steph.”

Bubble Murray looked like Steph Curry

Even before he came to the league, Jamal Murray was being compared to Steph Curry because of his ability to knock down threes. As a college freshman at Kentucky, Murray shot 40.8% from deep while taking 7.7 three-point attempts per game. He finished his only college season three three-pointers shy of Curry’s NCAA freshman record.

Steve Kerr once compared Jamal Murray to Steph Curry: "He shoots it,  catch-and-shoot, or off the dribble, like Steph" - Basketball Network -  Your daily dose of basketball

Soon enough, the Curry comparisons carried over to the NBA. In 2020 during the Orlando Bubble Playoffs, FiveThirtyEight’s Michael Pina wrote an article entitled “Jamal Murray isn’t the new Steph Curry but he might be close.”

“Curry had to travel and play in packed arenas. Murray does not have to travel and is in a bubble,” Pina wrote. “And most importantly, Curry had established himself as a superstar during the regular season, while Murray’s statistical production from his third to fourth year had plateaued — he’s never been an All-Star, let alone an MVP candidate or even the best player on his own team.”

At that time, Murray and the Nuggets were playing high-quality basketball and made it to the Western Conference Finals. Through 17 playoff games played that postseason, Murray averaged 26.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game. He had two 50 points games in the Nuggets’ first-round series against the Utah Jazz.

Warriors' Steve Kerr and Stephen Curry Share a Bond Beyond the Arc - The  New York Times

Murray overcomes injury to become an NBA champion
A lot has happened to Murray since then. The following season, Murray tore his ACL, did not play in the 2021 Playoffs where Denver lost in the second round. Then he missed the entire 2022 campaign and the Nuggets were eliminated in round one.

“Just to stay with it,” Jamal commented. “You know, life is going to happen. Stuff is going to happen. Just got to keep the mental fortitude to bounce back in whatever it is, and stay strong. ‘This, too, shall pass.’”

Finally healthy after two years, Murray was a flamethrower during the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Most notably, he torched the LA Lakers in the Western Conference Finals by averaging 32.5 points per game on 52.7% field goal shooting and 40.5% from deep. Although his scoring slowed down in the NBA Finals, he did average 10 assists per game.

There’s no question Murray looked every bit like the sharpshooting Curry during the 2023 NBA playoffs. Whether he wins four rings like Steph remains to be seen. But if he stays healthy, he’s going to be one of the best NBA guards in the years to come.

Kerr e Curry comentam o panorama da Covid na NBA - NBA PORTUGAL

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