Kentucky Basketball Press Conference - Murray Quotes

Kentucky Men's Basketball
Jamal Murray Press Conference
Joe Craft Center - Lexington, Ky.
April 1, 2016


Opening Statement 
“I just want to say a couple of things, guys. At first, my mom, dad, and I made a goal of getting into a good university. All of my life we’ve been working for the best schools to take a look at me. When I first committed to Kentucky, it was the biggest moment of my life. Being with my dad and family around me it was a big step for all of us. I came here with a goal to improve myself. I cherished every moment on the court. All of my teammates are here right now. I love all of them. I’m just happy. I made Kentucky my second home and made a lot of new friends and connections. I had a good time. I know we enjoyed spending time with each other. Cal told me to work hard and that he’d always demand the best of me. That’s what I came ready to do and what I did. Unfortunately it didn’t end how we wanted it to, but we tried, did our best and grew as a team. I’m thankful for how much they pushed me to become a better player, teammate, and person. With that said, I’m ready to take on the challenge of playing at the next level. I will declare for the NBA Draft. That’s my plan. I want to thank all of the fans for their support. It’s been a crazy experience and I had a lot of fun this year. I’m excited to take on the challenges and see the journey ahead of me.”

On if there was any hesitation with his decision …
“Right after our loss to Indiana I had a feeling that I didn’t want to stay, but obviously you want to come back for revenge and play harder than you did before. It was just the right decision. My family and I came to the conclusion that this would be the best option to put my name in the draft.”

On if he’s officially hiring an agent and this is the final decision …
“My dad and I haven’t talked about any agents, signing tours, or anything like that yet. We’re just enjoying this moment and we will talk about it later.”

On people comparing him to Stephen Curry …
“I like him. I watch him a lot. My dad enjoys watching him. We study his shot. Coach Cal kind of restrained me from doing all the splitting the defense and all the dribbling, but I had fun this year. I’m not trying to think about Steph Curry or anybody like that. I’m just trying to be me.”

On what this step in his life means to him …
“It means a lot not just for me but for my whole family, friends, and teammates that have come with me along the way and helped me in many different ways. My dad’s been here the whole time, put me in this position and helped me get to this spot. He’s taught me everything I know. I’m thankful to have him in my life as my best friend, mentor, biggest critic and biggest fan.”

On how this year at Kentucky helped him become a better player …
“I became more efficient and a skilled shooter. I found ways to get open when (opponents’) scouting reports said don’t let me catch the ball. I just had to work to get open and find different ways of doing that. Just playing winning basketball and learning how to play the two-guard.”

On if he talked to Tyler Ulis about his decision …
“He doesn’t know. We haven’t talked about our future plans. I don’t know about his side of the story and I’m not answering any questions for him. I just know my side.” 

On his display of emotion after the loss to Indiana in the NCAA Tournament …
“Just knowing that it would be my last game to be able to play at Kentucky, and it would never be the same team. For the fans, I would be taking another step and I knew that I didn’t want it to end that way. I knew that I didn’t want it to end the way that it did, and how badly we could’ve won it like that, tt was a tough loss. Nobody likes to lose, so we were all heartbroken. It wasn’t just me.”

On being required to play at least one year of college basketball …
“I’m happy for the experience that it gave me. You know, playing in an environment with great fans and all of the support, it teaches you. It also gives you the academic part of it, so I like the rule. It helped me a lot. It helped me play the two-guard and learn new friends and teammates. Coach Cal did a great job of handling me, and his staff too, so I enjoyed every little bit of it.”

On reflecting on the last 12 months of how he got to this point …
“It’s more than 12 months. It’s 19 years and some change, and its 19 years of life too. He (his dad) did everything he could to put me in a good spot and now we’re just hoping for the best.”

On his status with NBA teams …
“I haven’t looked into it yet.”

On his father’s part of getting him to this point …
“He’s helped me. He’s guided me, frustrated me, annoyed me, but I love him and he did everything he could. Without him, I wouldn’t be here, so I thank him for everything that he’s done.”

On an NBA player that he’s looked up to over the years …
“I’ve looked up to many players. My dad looked up to (Michael) Jordan. I looked up to some of the point guards, but I just try to be me at the end of the day. I don’t try to copy too many people. I just try to have my own style so people can say they want to be like me one day.”

On if he’ll take the bow and arrow to the NBA …
“Of course, that’s part of me now. That’s something that fans and teammates have forever so I’m going to carry it for the rest of my life. It has meaning behind it now.”  

On if he’s a Raptors fan …
“I’m an every team fan. Obviously the Raptors are my hometown – not hometown, but close enough. They’re the only Canadian team so it would be a blessing to play there.”

On who made the biggest impact on him during his time at Kentucky …
“Everybody played a part, my dad especially. He was here, he came up on weekends and drove countless hours and stayed up all night to help me with things. He did his part so now I just have to take it from here. Coach Cal did his part too. He helped me. He made me better. He made me play winning basketball and make winning plays. I just kept getting better throughout the season so, like I said, a lot of my teammates did that too in practice. We had a good season together.”

On comparing himself now to last year …
“That’s a tough question. I’ve learned a lot. Over the year I’ve learned a lot about people, fans, and the business side of it. I don’t really try to focus on that. I just try to stay on my path, and gain new experiences without thinking about the past.”

Roger Murray (Jamal Murray’s dad)


On his son’s decision …
“I don’t think I could explain how detailed we were, and trying to get to this spot, in this game, and as a man. As a young man coming up, it’s been fun and it’s been a challenge. It’s been everything that you can imagine in trying to be the best you can be. He has sacrificed a lot. As a young man coming up, I told him when he was a kid if he listens to me, he will achieve his goals. We set the bar really high. He wants to be the best player that every lived. That’s the path he’s on. As a kid coming up, we always envisioned being here, but we know the work it would take to get here. He committed his own life to be here and did the work. I’m just happy he listens. That’s the biggest part of it that he actually listens. Again, I can’t explain what we did and what we’ve been through together. You guys will never know. It was fun. That’s just for us to kind of, like, have an inside joke because we can’t explain it. When I look at him and he looks at me, we know exactly what it took to get here, and it has been fun. You guys should see a lot more of him, do a lot more stuff and getting better each time he hits the floor. Life is a crazy thing sometimes. When you set goals and when you put the effort in and the sacrifice you have to make as a family and the sacrifice you have to make to yourself to reach your goal is not an easy thing, but it’s very rewarding in the end. Looking at him right now, that’s it.”

On when he knew his son had this potential …
“There’s a picture put up on his Twitter account when he was catching a ball in his hands. That moment, I knew. That was the moment. I said it to his mom, ‘One day, I use this picture and come back and show you what I meant.’ It’s hard to describe the word love in a sense of a physical thing. When he held the ball in his hands, it was a physical, emotional, psychological love he had, just looking at the ball. I knew when he got that kind of passion and that kind of energy and you can harness it properly, and that’s what we did. So that’s why I said that you guys don’t understand where we’re coming from with this. We knew for a long time. We’re not trying to brag about saying that; it’s just we knew the work that had to be put in at the same time. We decided to dedicate my life to doing that, and he did also. It’s an amazing feeling to be here and watching him go through this process. It was from early on, way early.”