There’s one less NBA star competing in the FIBA World Cup. Denver Nuggets star Jamal Murray is withdrawing from the competition, as he needs “additional recovery” after a long grueling championship season, according to Canada Basketball.
“When I came into training camp, I wanted to see how my body would respond after a long and demanding season and if I would be physically able to compete at the highest level required for the World Cup,” Murray said in a statement, per Canada Basketball. “In consultation with medical staff and the team, it is clear that additional recovery is required, and I have made the difficult decision to not participate in the tournament. It’s still a dream of mine to represent Canada at the Olympics, and I will support the team every step of the way as they pursue this goal.”
Murray played 65 regular-season games and 20 playoff games last year, after missing the entire 2021-22 campaign with an ACL tear.
His decision to sit out of the World Cup seems to be a move made solely as a precaution, but it’s not ideal for one of Denver’s stars to not be feeling “physically able” to compete, just over a month before training camp starts.
Jamal Murray is crucial to Denver Nuggets’ championship repeat hopes
If Murray was dealing with some larger issue than just recovery, it would be a tough blow for the Denver Nuggets. The Canadian guard played a crucial role in the team’s first-ever NBA championship last spring, averaging 26.1 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.7 rebounds per game. He was efficient as well, knocking down 47.3% of his attempts from the field and 39.6% of those from distance.
There’s been increased hope that the 2023-24 season could be a big one for Murray. Many fans and media members believe that he is due to be selected to his first NBA All-Star team. If healthy, there’s no doubt that Murray will be able to build off of an impressive 2022-23 campaign.