Kings' Mike Brown emphatic Keegan Murray deserves NBA All-Rookie First Team
Brown emphatic All-Rookie First Team for Murray a 'no-brainer' originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Kings rookie Keegan Murray has played an instrumental role in helping Sacramento turn things around this season, and he's on the verge of making NBA history along the way.
The 22-year-old needs just four more 3-pointers to break Donovan Mitchell's single-season record for most by a rookie -- an accomplishment that, if reached, Kings coach Mike Brown believes should land the young sharpshooter a spot on the 2022-23 NBA All-Rookie First Team.
"... If [Murray] breaks the NBA 3-point record that Donovan Mitchell – or, when he breaks it, because he’s going to break it – but when he breaks it, that has to mean something to everybody out there, especially the people voting," Brown told reporters Saturday at Golden 1 Center after Sacramento's 121-113 win over the Utah Jazz.
"So, again, if he breaks that record and he’s not First-Team All-Rookie, especially with our team record, then all this is bulls--t, in my opinion, because he deserves it."
Murray has knocked down 184 triples during the 2022-23 NBA season, and with eight regular-season games remaining, he's on pace to break Mitchell's record (187) that was set during the 2017-18 season.
The young Kings forward was his humble self when asked about the impending record Saturday, noting he wasn't even sure how close he was to breaking it until his girlfriend told him earlier this week.
"I think today probably helped out a little bit," Murray told reporters after nailing six 3-pointers against the Jazz. "I think it’s crazy just because it comes all in the flow of our offense. I feel like I really don’t do anything special. We have a lot of guys who know how to play-make, so I’m able to knock down shots and that’s kind of an attribute to them just finding me in the flow of our offense."
Keegan Murray on nearing the NBA rookie season 3-point record, tonight's 121-113 win over the Utah Jazz, closing in on a clinched playoff spot and closing out the weekend back-to-back at home without De'Aaron Fox. pic.twitter.com/cp3MJCHR5T
— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) March 26, 2023
Averaging 12.0 points per game on 44.9 percent shooting from the field and 41.0 percent from beyond the arc, Murray has helped the Kings post the most potent offense in the NBA this season, and Brown believes Sacramento's successful campaign should be taken into consideration by voters when they look at the rookie's body of work.
The coach made a point to shoutout other rookies like the Orlando Magic's Paolo Banchero, but he views Murray as a shoo-in for a spot on the First Team thanks to all of his accomplishments this season.
"That [3-point] record is, like, monumental, in my opinion, when it comes to rookies," Brown said. "You’re talking about Donovan Mitchell has it right now, and look what he’s doing in this league.
"Everybody’s doing something as rookies, but to break that record with your team sitting in the third spot and going to the playoffs and you’ve been starting for this team all year, come on, man. That’s a no-brainer for First-Team All-Rookie."
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Murray likely has other things on his mind than personal accolades, like helping the Kings officially clinch their first NBA playoff berth since 2006.
But until then -- and until he's on the All-Rookie First Team -- Coach Brown certainly has his back.