Nuggets’ Jamal Murray admits he’s still unwinding after winning NBA title


Ever since Jamal Murray joined forces with teammate Nikola Jokic to lead the Denver franchise to their first-ever NBA title back in June, he’s been kicking it back and relaxing. The point guard also decided to miss out of participating with his country in the most-recent FIBA World Cup, as he kept competing for the league trophy 1-2 months more than his Canadian teammates. 

He recalled that a month after beating the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, Jamal went to Las Vegas and kept on his celebrations with other Nuggets’ fans as he witnessed some Summer League action. “I’m a little hung over,” he joked around in an interview with The New York Times.

The 26-year-old has also spent a lot of time with one of his new and closest friends, UFC fighter Alexander Volkanovski, who he met for a comercial shoot in Australia in August of last year.

After averaging 20.0 points per game last season, the NBA champion earned the Best Comeback Athlete award at the 2023 ESPYS:

Murray revealed that he’s learned a lot about discipline and winning from his friendship with the martial arts athlete. According to the Nuggets star, he spent the night after Volkanovski won U.F.C. 290 to remain unbeaten in the 145-pound weight class, and was impressed on how he kept his cool before fighting.

“This is like a championship belt for him, right?” he shared. “He was just so loose about it. It kind of brought me back to, like, I don’t have to take my routine as serious as long as I know how to flip a switch, turn it on and bring it when I need it.”

Even though he wasn’t able to relax all summer due to their championship run, he still feels ready to return for training camp next month. “I’m still coming back, though,” Murray said two months ago. “I didn’t have a full off-season to recover. Or train on what I wanted to. My whole last summer was just working on my strength here. And that was it. I didn’t get to work on my game.”

He still feels inspired by all the fans who showed up to be a part of the Denver celebrations. “Everybody’s just trying to be a part of the moment, which is really cool,” Murray expressed.

Jamal’s connection with Volkanovski is teaching them both about maintaining a winning mentality in sports

“I’m a Nuggets guy now purely because of our connection,” Volkanovski said in late July, just a few weeks after the NBA player showed up to support him for the U.F.C. 290.

For the fighter, it is always important to remain calm and collected before an important match, as the winning mentality starts with a cool head.

“I’ll definitely have my moment throughout my car ride, ‘There’s no way that they’re taking this belt away from me.’ But I’m usually pretty chill,” he shared. “I’m happy to have a little laugh.”

“Probably he could look at that, I mean, like, ‘This guy’s about to go to war and he literally treats it as, like, you know, this is his job, he knows he’ll be fine,’” Volkanovski added. “‘He’s obviously confident in his preparation and all that.’”

The UFC athlete revealed how much he’s learned from the Nuggets guard, and that everyone’s way of preparing to compete is their ritual in their own right.

“Everyone has their own way of preparing for their — whatever they do,” the UFC man said. “And you can never knock it, because obviously he’s playing some good basketball, so you don’t want to change much.”

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