LAS VEGAS — Sacramento Kings rookie Keegan Murray got an early taste of the spotlight.
The No. 4 overall draft pick went head-to-head with top pick Paolo Banchero and the Orlando Magic in one of the most exciting games at NBA Summer League. The Magic prevailed in a sudden-death, double-overtime win Saturday, but Murray still found positives in the experience.
On the latest episode of the “Posted Up with Chris Haynes” podcast, Murray talked about his Summer League experience, what he thinks of Sacramento, the draft process and more.
“I didn’t feel any pressure going into [Saturday’s game]. I was excited to go into that game and I mean, you got pressure on the outside, all eyes are on you, whatever,” Murray said on “Posted Up.” “But I had the approach that the game was going to come to me, the coach is going to draw up sets for me and get me the ball. Obviously, it didn’t happen right away, it happened later in the game and I was able to get hot late.”
Murray had 20 points, including four 3-pointers, along with nine rebounds and two assists in the 94-92 loss. Banchero had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Magic.
“Paolo is a great, great player. He got it going early. So I just think the competitive sides you saw on both sides of the ball, on his end and on my end, obviously it was a really good game, one of the best games in Summer League, so it was a blessing to be a part of that,” Murray said. “My teammates enjoyed that game even though we didn’t come out with a win, but it was great to just see everyone in the organization happy.”
Murray and the Kings enter the season with a new head coach in Mike Brown and the longest playoff drought in the league at 16 consecutive seasons. The rookie sees a lot of positives in this group from the first few games in Las Vegas.
“That’s the great thing about the guys on our team is that they just fuel each other, no negative stuff, anything like that. It’s just fuel. You see guys on our team step up and they’ve been a blessing to me,” Murray said.
Before the draft, the Kings were high on Murray and so far, it seems to have paid off.
“I knew kinda the general area of where I was gonna go and all the teams I had great relationships with,” Murray said. “So for me, I really had no problem going to any team and I just kinda had that mentality going into draft night whatever possibility was going to be a good possibility and great opportunity for me to be myself in an organization and help an organization.
“I, fortunately, in a positive way, fell to the Kings and it’s been a blessing for me. And I’ve just been blessed to be in this position. I think this is one of the best organizations I could have been a part of for my rookie year.”
The Kings continue their Summer League schedule against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Listen to the full episode of “Posted Up with Chris Haynes,” featuring guest Keegan Murray, and subscribe for the latest episodes throughout the season.