Jamal Murray’s comeback from a devastating knee injury suffered at the end of the 2020-21 season was complete Monday night as the Denver Nuggets won the NBA championship for the first time.
Murray missed the entire 2021-22 season because of the knee injury and had to witness his team get knocked out of the playoffs early twice after finishing as the No. 2 seed in the conference in back-to-back years. This time around, Denver was the top dog and remained that way until the very end.
The former Kentucky standout had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in Denver’s 94-89 Game 5 victory to close out Miami.
At the end of the game, Murray was crying tears of joy as Nuggets fans cheered him on at the Ball Arena.
“It’s just an amazing feeling,” he told ESPN’s Lisa Salters after the game. “Blood, sweat and tears to get back to this point. Everybody on my team in here, everybody on the floor believed in me. Believed in me to get back to myself. We proved a lot of doubters wrong.”
Salters asked if the moment was worth the wait. Murray said yes.
“I learned a lot by myself just being out for two postseasons just grinding, having so many things go through my head, watching my team go through so many ups and downs. Just to see us healthy, know what we can do… we had the belief from the get go, you guys (the fans) had the belief from the get go… it’s full circle. It’s just great to see it through.”
Murray then thanked his dad and God before Salters moved on.
“He believed in me from the start,” Murray said of his father. “He got me to where I am today. It’s a blessing. It’s not me, it’s God willing. I appreciate Him giving me the strength.”
Denver’s corps will now look to run it back next season with Murray, Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jr. among those in it for the long haul.