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Paris Olympics: NBA Champion’s Decision Could Lead to Medal

Team Canada member, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, commits to Paris Olympics

With his season now over, Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray is free to do whatever he wants. Whether that’s kayaking, visiting Nikola Jokic in Serbia, or just lazing around the house, it’s his prerogative.

Murray wants to play basketball.

Following the Nuggets’ loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals, Murray confirmed his commitment to Canada’s national team. Murray, who just wrapped up his seventh career season, averaged 21.2 points and 6.5 assists per game in 2023-24. The 2023 NBA champion also converted 41.5 percent of his 3s, a career-high.

A crafty and confident scorer, Murray and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander form a formidable backcourt.

However, this will be the duo’s first time playing as teammates on the national team. Though Murray has played for the Canadian national team in four other world tournaments, this is his first time playing at the senior level. Meanwhile, Gilgeous-Alexander got his first big test as a member of Canada’s senior national team last year, passing with flying colors.

Leading Team Canada to a third place finish, the 2024 NBA MVP runner-up averaged 24.5 points, 6.4 assists, and 1.6 steals per game in the 2023 FIBA World Cup. It was his second appearance for the senior team, having also participated in the Americas World Cup Qualifiers. With Gilgeous-Alexander averaging 26.3 points, 2.0 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game, Canada took home the gold.

Jamal Murray’s Olympics Decision Could Lead to Medal

With the Paris Olympics set to begin in late July, Team Canada is hoping to win their first-ever Olympic gold medal. Indeed, the last time Canada medaled in the Summer Olympics was 1936, their first ever appearance at the event. However, they’ve qualified for every Olympic basketball tournament since 1948.

A firm sense of national pride isn’t enough to take down the superteam Team USA has constructed, although Murray and Gilgeous-Alexander will help make things interesting. That said, those two will supported by multiple high-level defenders, namely Dillon Brooks, Lu Dort, and Nickeil Walker-Alexander. Team Canada also has a highly regarded head coach in Jordi Fernandez who was at the help when they defeated Team USA in the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Ultimately, should be able to come away with a bronze or silver medal. That may not be result Murray and Co. want. Nonetheless, it’ll be a more than respectable finish for Canada given their Olympics history.


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