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Jamal Murray Backs Hakeem Olajuwon on the GOAT Debate

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Jamal Murray Backs Hakeem Olajuwon on the GOAT Debate
Jamal Murray #27 of the Denver Nuggets. Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images/AFP

Jamal Murray’s social media activity suggests that he doesn’t see LeBron James as the GOAT. Why is this a big deal these days? To me, there’s no GOAT, that’s just a narrative created by most fans… there are legendary players and people just can’t seem to enjoy their greatness and stop ranking them.

I personally don’t rank players but no one is right or wrong with their personal rankings, everyone can place their favorite players of all-time in any spot they want. Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon spoke on CNBC about the comparison between Michael Jordan and LeBron James. The Bulls took Jordan with the No. 3 pick in the 1984 NBA Draft while the Rockets made Olajuwon the No. 1 pick. Olajuwon ranked Jordan ahead of James and a quote from his interview reached Twitter. Eventually, people noticed that Murray liked the tweet, endorsing Olajuwon’s take.

Olajuwon’s Reasoning and Murray’s Reaction

LeBron James just won his fourth NBA championship and he’s led three teams to a title but Olajuwon still has Jordan as his GOAT:

“It depends how you—according to the position that he plays—when people start comparing him with Jordan, then that’s not a fair comparison because Jordan was a far more superior player in a very, very tough league, and he was very creative. That’s not taking away anything from LeBron James, who is a great player, but it is not a fair comparison because I think Jordan is a far superior player.”

Murray was not even two years old when Michael Jordan retired from the Bulls in 1998 but he probably watched old MJ games and ‘The Last Dance.’ It was only a ‘like’ on a tweet but many people wonder if it’s more than that and if he resents James and the Lakers for eliminating the Nuggets from the playoffs.

Jamal Murray’s Playoff Leap

Murray clearly took a star turn in his fourth year in the league, particularly in the playoffs. Just compare and contrast what he did this season:

Regular season: plus-1.2 Box Plus/Minus (BPM)
Postseason: plus-5.9 Box Plus/Minus (BPM)

The Nuggets basically became Jamal Murray’s team. Many see Nikola Jokic as the best player on the Nuggets but it’s clear that the Nuggets took on more of the identity of Murray. The Nuggets were mentally tough team, they were not afraid to compete against anyone and they never gave up on a game.

Jamal Murray is a PURE player with skill level out of this world. Simply put, he’s ridiculous and he’s casual about it. Murray a special player, the next steps for him are making an All-Star Game and figuring out how to play alongside Michael Porter Jr. That will really help the Nuggets take another step forward.

As of this writing, BetOnline lists his teammate Nikola Jokic at +1600 to win the NBA MVP award next season while Murray is not on their NBA odds board. This is shocking to me because they have 33 players and Murray is not one of them. He’s being overlooked but he will to build off his performance in the playoffs and take the Nuggets far once again.