Let’s get this out of the way first: Jamal Murray is obviously not Michael Jordan. Murray is a rookie backup shooting guard with the Denver Nuggets, averaging 8 points a night and continually working to raise his 31 percent 3-point shooting percentage. Murray very well may become a star for the Nuggets, but even then it is highly unlikely, as it is with almost every player who enters the NBA, that he will ever reach the level of greatness achieved by MJ.
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But for a brief moment last night against the Utah Jazz, Murray morphed into His Airness. Driving to the basket, he rose with the ball in his right hand and sailed in for what looked like a potential thunderous dunk. But as Gordon Hayward slid across the lane, his left arm raised to block Murray’s path to the hoop, Murray called an audible in mid-air. He shifted the ball to his left hand, avoiding Hayward’s outstretched arm, and finished with his left as the Nuggets bench went crazy.
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Murray’s mid-air move was a carbon copy of what Jordan did on a layup against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals. In what has become one of his most famous plays, Jordan drove for the layup with the ball in his right hand, but switched to his left in mid-air when he thought Lakers forward Sam Perkins was about to leap and contest it.
Murray probably isn’t going to start dropping 30 points per game all of a sudden, but for an instant last night, he truly was the greatest basketball player of all time.