‘It’s A Dream Come True’ Keegan Murray Excited To Be A Sacramento King

Jun 25, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: Jul 14, 2022, 2:51 pm

Sacramento Kings...

Sacramento Kings

The fourth overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft, Keegan Murray, was welcomed to Sacramento during an introductory press conference Saturday morning.

Alongside Kings’ general manager Monte McNair, Murray answered questions from the media regarding the draft process and his experience so far in the state capital.

“I’m excited to be here in Sacramento,” Murray said in his introductory statement. “It’s a dream come true. I’ve been able to go on the purple and black. So I’m grateful to be in this position. Sacramento has welcomed me with open arms so far, so I’m excited to see everyone at the games and things like that. For me, it’s been a journey from where I came from and to where I am now. So this is the first step in my journey. forever grateful to be here in Sacramento.”

Obviously a lot of emotions occur on draft night for potential draft picks, but Murray seemed more centered, enjoying the moment with his family.

“Going into the draft day, anything can happen. So for me, it was just going in with the mindset of just having a good time with my family,” Murray said.

But once the cameras huddled around the Iowa prospect, he knew his time had come, excited to be headed to Sacramento.

“I think when I knew was when all the cameras started going to the table,” he said with a chuckle. “I knew that if I came here, it’d be a great opportunity for me. So when all the cameras started coming my way at the table, I was excited to start buttoning up my jacket to get ready to walk on the stage. I was just excited.”

Part of that good opportunity came from the pre-draft process when he came to town, noticing the effort and care the Kings organization had put into his arrival.

“I came here to meet with a lot of people. They brought a couple players with them, [Domantas] Sabonis and [De’Aaron] Fox. So for me, I felt like that was a big statement that they made and I knew that they really cared about me and my abilities to be able to play here. And a lot of the guys have been able to text me throughout these last couple of days. So I’ve been forever grateful for that and they just welcomed me with open arms in the city of Sacramento. I’m excited to get to know more throughout these years and I couldn’t be more fortunate to be in this position,” Murray said.

Much of the debate at the number four spot was between Murray and former Purdue guard Jaden Ivey, who went fifth to the Detroit Pistons. Nevertheless, McNair made it a point of emphasis post-draft that Keegan was the guy all along, submitting the pick before the allocated five minutes were up.

“When he was there at four, we were thrilled. We get five minutes, I don’t think we used anywhere near five minutes to call it in,” McNair said grinning. “That joy was 100%. That was our whole front office, an organization, not just myself.”

Another factor that drew Murray to Sacramento was the Iowa roots as Harrison Barnes is also an Iowa native, having played alongside Doug McDermott in Ames. Keegan watched those two growing up and is excited to have Barnes around to help guide him here in Sacramento.

“Just to be able to have him as a vet and be able to teach me the ropes,” Murray stated. “He’s hit me up, text me, just welcoming me to Sacramento and I’m just excited to get started.”

Outside of the Iowa connection, Keegan is excited to play alongside Fox and Sabonis on this young roster, seeing his versatility as a way to help out his team from the jump.

“I think my versatility plays a factor in playing alongside both of them. Being able to cut to the basket, read what Sabonis is doing in the post on things like that,” he explained. “But I feel like I’m just excited to be able to play off on Fox, a dynamic point guard…he can create his own shot, create for other guys. So my ability to catch and shoot threes, play on the perimeter, so like we’ll just expand both of their games even more.”

And thanks to his versatility, Murray sees himself playing all over the court, not just at the forward positions, looking o help his new team any way he can.

“I think I can play different positions. Obviously, it depends on who’s on the court or playing. So I think I’m able to adapt to different positions, it doesn’t matter if it’s small forward [or] power forward spot, whatever they need me to do is where I’ll fit in and where I’ll be my best at,” he said.

New head coach Mike Brown will certainly look to utilize Murray in a variety of roles, one of the reasons Brown was intrigued with the idea of adding Keegan, according to McNair.

“Number One: His ability to get up and down the floor in transition, which coach Brown has spoken about, joining Foxy, and Domas and Harrison who all have a lot of athleticism,” McNair said. “I think that the league is going to a spot where guys can play more positions, can switch defensively, all those types of things are really important. So I think Coach Brown is very excited to utilize him here.”

Keegan also believes people’s biggest misconception of him is his competitive spirit given his even-keeled mannerisms. But don’t let that fool you, once on the court, he becomes a whole different person.

“I think it’s my competitive spirit. I get a lot of that just because I’m so even-keeled on the court. I just try not to get too high or too low,” Murray explained. “But for me, once you get in between the lines, I feel like I’m one of the biggest competitors out there.”

The press conference wasn’t all X’s and O’s though. Murray proclaimsed himself as a “burger aficionado,” ranking the famous In-N-Out Burger as the third best burger he’s had, behind Shake Shack and Small Cheval in Chicago.

No official word on if Murray will take part in the Summer League in less than two weeks’ time, but Kings fans should be excited about this humble, small-town competitor joining the Purple & Black.

Follow Amiliano Fragoso on Twitter and Instagram.


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