Wednesday , Nov , 12 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Start watching Seattle’s Ronald Murray

(Sports Network) – Even though it is early in the NBA season, the rest of the
league is starting to take notice of the Seattle SuperSonics and their new
star, Ronald Murray.

On Tuesday, Murray knocked down a fade-away jumper at the buzzer to give the
Sonics an 89-87 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
The win improved Seattle’s record to 4-1.

“They gave me a 1-4 clearout, so I was able to go one-on-one and get a shot
up, ” Murray said after his game-winning shot. “I got the shot up and it went
in. It felt like Latrell Sprewell was trying to force me left, so I took it.
He played good defense and it was a contested shot, but it just fell in for
me.”

Murray finished Tuesday’s game 9-of-18 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the
foul line for a career-high 29 points in 35 minutes of action. He also grabbed
six rebounds and dished out a team-high eight assists.

“Murray was unbelievable,” said Minnesota head coach Flip Saunders. “He made
big plays. At the end, he scored six straight, made his free throws and had
two big assists to James. He was the difference-maker in the game. He was
averaging 24 coming in. A lot of you have never heard of him, but you better
learn who he is. He’s for real. He showed tonight that he’s legitimate. The
thing I saw tonight was how much confidence he played with. It never waned.”

The 24-year-old Murray is virtually an unknown in the circles of the NBA. He
was selected out of Shaw, a Division II school, by the Milwaukee Bucks in the
second round (42nd pick overall) of the 2002 NBA Draft. He is a former
Division II player of the year.

After playing in just 12 games and averaging 1.9 points for the Bucks during
last season, Murray was dealt in February 2003 to the Sonics along with Ray
Allen, Kevin Ollie, and draft considerations for Gary Payton and Desmond
Mason.

“I feel like I can get around anybody in the league” Murray said on being an
unknown player. “I feel like I’m quick enough, and I try to take what the
defense gives me. It doesn’t matter that no one in the arena knows who I am.
They’ll know who I am in time.”

So far this season, Murray, who has started all five games for Seattle, is
tied with Rashard Lewis as Seattle’s top scorer (24.6 ppg), is second on the
team in assists (4.8 apg) and is pulling down a respectable 5.2 rebounds per-
game.

“We knew he could get to the basket, but Coach (Saunders) told us he was
a guy that looks to score,” Minnesota guard/forward Sprewell said
about Murray after Tuesday’s game. “I think the thing that hurt us most was
his ability to get in the paint and create for other guys. He made some
excellent passes out there.”

Keep watching Murray. It will be interesting to see how this story progresses.

SEA