jamal murray nba championship

Ontario's Jamal Murray was a glass case of emotion after NBA title win

Denver Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray is returning the NBA title to Canada.

After missing the entire 2021-22 season with a torn ACL suffered in the 2021 postseason, the 26-year-old Murray completed his hero's journey on Monday night with a victory in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Miami Heat to clinch the Nuggets' franchise's first-ever title win.

And though Murray — like most NBA stars — are typically rather stoic on the court and in their media availabilities, he couldn't stop the tears from flowing when he reflected on the road to the title.

"It's just an amazing feeling," Murray told ESPN postgame. "Blood, sweat, and tears to get back to this point. Everybody on the team, everybody on the floor believed in me, believed me to get back to myself, and we proved a lot of doubters wrong."

Murray became the ninth-ever Canadian player to get his hands on the Larry O'Brien trophy, joining Andrew Wiggins, Chris Boucher, Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, Joel Anthony, Rick Fox, Bill Wennington, and Mike Smrek as the only other people born north of the border to win an NBA championship.

"It stems deep, you know, coming from a small town in Canada," the Kitchener, Ontario-born Murray said to Sportsnet's Arash Madani following the win. "It's just surreal. We've had so many doubts, so many ups and downs. Nobody paid attention to us, whatever. Like, it's just sweet, very sweet."

While two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokic was the star of the show, Murray wasn't that far behind, as he averaged 26.1 points, 7.1 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 20 games in the 2023 playoffs.

And while there will be plenty of time to reflect on the recovery back from injury throughout the offseason, Murray made sure to enjoy the moment with his longtime teammate Jokic, with the pair having spent the last seven seasons together.

"I'm just celebrating with my brothers," Murray added to Sportsnet.

Lead photo by

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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