When Jamal Murray was a freshman at Kentucky during the 2015-16 campaign, the Steph Curry comparisons began. They have resurfaced over the last month because of his incredible performances during the NBA playoffs.
"When I watch Jamal Murray play -- a guy I pay attention to, Rashad Phillips, has said this multiple times -- he reminds me of Gilbert Arenas," Williams said on ESPN's "Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin" show. "He really does. 'Agent Zero.'
"Very shifty, can shoot the ball from deep, doesn't maybe have the same explosiveness. But the way he handles the rock (and) the way he moves."
Whether you agree or disagree with the comparison, you might be saying to yourself: "Who is Rashad Phillips?
Well, he played at the University of Detroit Mercy from 1997 to 2001, where he was teammates with former Warriors assistant coach Willie Green his final two seasons.
Phillips averaged 22.4 points and 4.1 assists as a senior, while shooting 41.5 percent from 3-point territory. Those are some legit numbers.
And yes, he recently made the Murray-Arenas connection.
I was in summer league with GSW back in 2001 and my teammate was Gilbert Arenas. He was big, fast, strong, quick, and could score in every way. Jamal Murray is this era’s Gilbert. Quick, shifty, skilled, loves the big moments, and scores on whoever. #Yoda pic.twitter.com/iT8rbJECat— Rashad Phillips (@RP3natural) September 16, 2020
The Warriors selected Arenas with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2001 draft. He averaged 18.3 points and 6.3 assists during his second NBA season, and the Warriors were unable to re-sign him in free agency.
This painful loss led to the "Gilbert Arenas provision" in the NBA's 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement.
As salary cap expert Larry Coon writes: "Golden State could only match an offer sheet (or sign Arenas directly) for up to the amount of the Early Bird exception, which was about $4.9 million at the time. Washington signed Arenas to an offer sheet with a starting salary of about $8.5 million, which Golden State was powerless to match."
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That is quite unfortunate and assuredly brings some Warriors fans back to some dark times.
But anyways, perhaps the comparison to "Agent Zero" will have you looking at Murray in a different light when he faces the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
Or he might drill a pull-up 30 footer and it will remind you of how much you miss watching Curry play basketball.