“The side they don’t see,” Jamal Murray posted on his Instagram Story after LeBron James showed loved to his family after Nuggets-Lakers.
Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets opened up the 2023-24 NBA campaign with a win over LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night — and despite the hard-fought affair, the two proved it’s bigger than basketball afterwards.
The Lakers lost 119-107 to the defending champions at Ball Arena, but James still had time to show love for Murray’s family before getting on the team bus.
Murray reposted the video to his Instagram Story, acknowledging the gesture from the King. “The side that they don’t see,” the star Canadian wrote. Clearly, there is some camaraderie between the two stars.
Murray, Nuggets off and running
The Nuggets picked up right where they left off after a dominating run through the 2023 NBA Playoffs, getting in the win column early in front of the adoring crowd. The team was led by another monster performance from Nikola Jokic. The reigning Finals MVP opened with a triple-double, adding 29 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists in what was another incredible performance by the Serbian.
“I think we controlled the game the whole time,” the superstar said afterwards.
Murray scored 21 points of his own in the victory with two rebounds, six assists and a block rounding out his stat line. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 20, Aaron Gordon had 15 and Michael Porter Jr. had 12.
LeBron fine with less minutes
For the Lakers, it was LeBron leading the way, although he played about five fewer minutes than normal.
“I mean, I always want to be on the floor,” James explained after the loss, “especially when you got an opportunity to win a game or feel like you can make an impact. But I guess there’s a system in place, and I’ll follow it.”
The 38-year-old is the league’s oldest player and made it clear afterwards that he’s “not surprised or upset” regarding the team monitoring his minutes in the season’s early going.
Taurean Prince scored 18 points in his Lakers debut, while Anthony Davis scored 17, Austin Reaves added 14, and D’Angelo Russell was good for 11.
Los Angeles trailed by as much as 18 in the contest but got within three after a 13-0 run in the third and fourth quarters. It wouldn’t be enough, as an Aaron Gordon 3-pointer halted the run.
Regardless of the outcome, it was great to see the sportsmanship between James and Murray afterwards.