Kings

Banchero credits Murray for helping turn Kings franchise around

Kings

As the Kings sit third in the Western Conference at 32-25, Sacramento's success could not have been possible without rookie Keegan Murray. 

Speaking with reporters during the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, Paolo Banchero spoke about the impact Murray is having on the Kings in his first season in the league.

"He's been shooting the lights out, he's on a very good team, Kings are very good, they're in the playoffs; I don't know what seed they are but they're high up," Banchero said. "So he's been a big part of that and so that's impressive I think for a rookie to contribute to a playoff team right away.

"And yeah, he's been killing it. So I'm excited for him."

Murray undoubtedly has been a key cog in Sacramento's turnaround during the 2022-23 NBA season. The rookie has been deadly from beyond the arc, hitting 137 3-pointers so far, which is 49 more than Jabari Smith Jr. for most by a rookie this season. 

Smith has 88 made 3-pointers this season and the gap between Murray (first) and Smith (second) is as large as second to 11th (David Roddy, 39). Murray also leads all rookies in 3-point percentage at 41.5 percent on 6.0 attempts a game. 

With the Kings winning and Murray contributing, Sacramento has lit the Beam often. Although Banchero's mother, Rhonda, played for the Sacramento Monarchs in 2000, the rookie is not a fan of the lights above Golden 1 Center.

 

"I wasn't very happy after we lost and they lit it so I'm not going to say I really liked it," Banchero admitted. "But no, my mom played in Sacramento for the Monarchs and so she had a connection with the city and that was my first time playing out there so it was a cool experience."

RELATED: Murray's career night fuels Kings' dominant win vs. Rockets

Though Murray and Banchero often are opponents, they will be teammates on Team Pau in the 2023 Rising Stars Game. 

Now that they're on the same team, Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, can see what Murray, the No. 4 pick and two-time Western Conference Rookie of the Month, can do firsthand.