Jamal Murray becomes ninth Canadian to win NBA Finals

Jamal Murray (All-Pro Reels, Wikimedia Commons)

Jamal Murray of Kitchener, Ontario became the ninth Canadian to win the NBA Finals. On Monday, he scored 14 points in a 94-89 Denver Nuggets win over the Miami Heat. With the win, the Nuggets won the best out of seven series four games to one and won their first NBA Finals in franchise history.

In five games during the 2023 NBA Finals, Murray averaged 21.4 points per game, 10 assists per game, and 6.2 rebounds per game. He had a field goal percentage of .451, three point percentage of .387, and a free throw percentage of .929. Murray was clearly the second best player on the Nuggets squad, behind only NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic of Sombor, Serbia.

In 20 postseason games in 2023, Murray averaged 26.1 points per game, 7.1 assists per game, and 5.7 rebounds per game. He had a field goal percentage of .473, free throw percentage of .926, and three point percentage of .396.

This was the second straight year a Canadian won the NBA Finals. Andrew Wiggins of Toronto, Ontario won last year with the Golden State Warriors. Murray and Wiggins join Mike Smrek of Welland, Ontario (Los Angeles Lakers, 1988), Bill Wennington of Montreal, Quebec (Chicago Bulls, 1997, 1998), Rick Fox of Toronto, Ontario (Los Angeles Lakers, 2000, 2001, 2002), Joel Anthony of Montreal (Miami Heat, 2012, 2013), Cory Joseph of Toronto (San Antonio Spurs, 2014), Tristan Thompson of Toronto (Cleveland Cavaliers, 2016), and Chris Boucher of Montreal (Golden State Warriors in 2018 and Toronto Raptors, 2019).

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