National Basketball Association (NBA) Denver Nuggets owner Stanley Kranjcar received a fierce embrace from Jermaine Murray at the PepsiCo Center in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday.
Denver’s players, coaching staff and employees were all on the court in jubilation after the Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat 94-89 in Game 5 of the best-of-seven 2022-2023 championship series to clinch their first championship.
“Thank you for being patient with me, we did it.”
This was captured on the local broadcast screen as Murray hugged Cranky as hard as he could.
Murray averaged 21.4 points, 10 assists and 6.2 rebounds in five games in the championship.
He paced the Denver offense alongside Nikola Jokic, who averaged 30.2 points, 14 rebounds and 7.2 assists and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the championship.
It was the first time in NBA history that Denver had two players on a championship team with at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Murray was an integral part of Denver’s run to the championship.
He started all 20 playoff games in the 2022-2023 season and anchored Denver’s perimeter offense, posting 26.1 points and 7.1 assists per game.
In the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, he exploded for a 32.5-point average and was a key part of a four-game series sweep.
In Game 2, he scored 37 points, including 23 in the fourth quarter alone, to lead the Nuggets to a 108-102 victory.
Without Murray, the pressure on Jokic, the engine of Denver’s offense, would have skyrocketed.
In fact, last season, Denver, led by Jokic, faced eventual champion Golden State in the first round of the PO and were eliminated in four games.
While Jokic was a monster, averaging 31 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in five games, he wasn’t enough to overcome the championship contenders on his own.
In that sense, Denver’s success this season has been a “victory of patience” for the organization’s front office. 메이저놀이터
Murray injured his knee against Golden State on April 19, 2021.
It was a serious injury that resulted in a torn ACL in his left knee.
The injury caused him to miss the 2020-2021 POs and the entire 2021-2022 season.
It wasn’t until the opening game of the 2022-2023 season against the Utah Jazz that he returned to the court after 555 days.