Keegan Murray excited for first Kings-Blazers clash vs. brother Kris originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
The Kings (2-4) will host the Portland Trail Blazers (3-4) at Golden 1 Center as the Murray brothers will -- for the first time in their 23 years of living -- compete against one another on opposite teams.
For Keegan, it's a day he has had marked on his calendar since the 2023-24 NBA schedule was released back in August.
"Yeah, it's our [seventh] game of the year," the second-year Kings forward told NBC Sports California's Kyle Draper at Kings Media Day. "[We] come back from a road trip and play them.
"I'm excited to be able to play him. I think it'll be a cool opportunity, my parents, my family will come to that game."
Kris was selected by the Blazers in the first round of the 2023 draft, just one pick before Sacramento's No. 24 selection, where they took Marquette forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper, who was traded along with Richaun Holmes to the Dallas Mavericks. Murray joined the 2023 No. 3 overall pick Scoot Henderson in the Pacific Northwest.
Keegan is in his second NBA season with the Kings after being selected by Sacramento No. 4 overall last year. He made his mark in his rookie year, contributing to Sacramento's historic offense, helping snap a 17-year playoff drought, breaking the all-time NBA rookie 3-point record and being named to the All-Rookie First Team.
The brothers by chance but friends by choice have played side by side throughout their entire basketball careers. Wednesday will be unfamiliar territory for the both of them.
"Yeah, it'll be the first time we'll be opposite of each other on two different benches," Keegan said. "So it's definitely going to be weird, but it'll be special for sure."
Keegan is as even-keeled as a professional athlete could be, but if anyone knows how to get under his skin, it's big bro.
In a June interview with NBC Sports California's Tom Dierberger, Kris revealed how to push Keegan's buttons.
"Scoring on him is the biggest thing,” Kris said. “For me, it’s scoring on him because he gets mad when I do score on him.
“I usually talk a little bit. Just scoring on him, getting into his face, making him uncomfortable -- those are the things that can get him mad. But when he plays mad, he’s a really good player. So, you have to pick your poison."
Keegan? Mad? It's something Kings fans haven't seen much of. But with his older twin now in the league, and their first matchup on the horizon, Kris might unlock a new emotion from his brother.
Kris, the elder of the two brothers by a few minutes, has done his fair share of trash-talking since moving to Portland, Keegan said. And while both are competitive on the court, they understand it's all love off of it.
While the Murray brothers continue to find their way at the pro-level, Kris told Dierberger that he'd love to play alongside his brother once again at some point in their NBA journeys.
“I definitely do want to play with Keegan, whether it’s this year, whether it’s three years from now, five years from now, 10 years from now,” Kris told NBC Sports California. “Getting an opportunity to play with him at any capacity would be really special.
“Something that we’ve always dreamed of, just being able to play in the NBA together. I welcome any opportunity to share the court with him again.”