Australia’s own Jack White is already making his mark at the Denver Nuggets, with star guard Jamal Murray revealing he’s quickly set a new record for the team’s 100 three-pointers shooting drill.
White was rewarded for his strong NBA Summer League form, signing a two-way contract with the Nuggets and joining the team after national team commitments.
The former Melbourne United and Duke captain hasn’t wasted time in making an impression.
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“He (White) holds the record for the Nuggets 100 threes,” Murray told reporters during a special appearance at the opening of Melbourne’s NBA Store.
The Canadian cheekily added: “I haven’t done it yet — but as of right now.”
In his first time visiting Australia, Murray admitted he “doesn’t know much” about the NBL, but remains good friends with Melbourne United forward Isaac Humphries from their college days at Kentucky.
Murray is ramping up to a return to the court in the NBA pre-season at the end of next month following an ACL injury sustained back in February 2021.
The 25-year old admitted he had some self doubts while sidelined, but says “time heals” and that it allowed him to work on other parts of his game.
Murray was looking forward to an “exciting year” for the Nuggets — now healthy as fellow star Michael Porter Jr. also returns from injury and bolstered by off-season additions Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Bruce Brown — as they look to bounce back from their playoff loss to eventual champions Golden State.
“I’m feeling good, the more I play the more confident I get,” Murray said. “The worst part is missing two playoffs, I feel like I missed out on a lot.
“We know our team is better than we showed, we just weren’t healthy. It sucks to lose to the Suns and Warriors, it didn’t go the way we wanted.”
Asked how close he was to returning last playoffs, Murray said: “I was working towards it and you want to stay mentally locked in to try and be there.
“Now that I’m here now thinking how far I’ve come since then, it’s night and day. I wouldn’t have been the player in the playoffs I am now (or be) able to move and play the way I want to play.”
Despite missing one-and-a-half seasons, the Nuggets will hope Murray can recapture his previous best form to co-star alongside reigning back-to-back MVP winner Nikola Jokic in the upcoming campaign to help Denver advance further through the playoffs — and maybe even contend for the championship.
If Murray can return to his lofty best heights — none greater than his superb form in the 2020 Playoffs played solely in the Orlando ‘Bubble’ due to the pandemic — averaging 26.5 points on over 50 per cent shooting from 19 games to help lead the Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals, it’ll go a long way.
Asked by foxsports.com.au how confident he was of getting back to his form in the 2020 Playoffs, Murray said: “No doubt. That wasn’t even my best though, that’s the thing, there’s another level you guys haven’t seen yet.
“I’m excited, I’ve just got to be out there.”