Sacramento Kings’ Keegan Murray, Portland Trail Blazers’ Kris Murray face off for first time — Andscape
It’s going to be odd, yet memorable for Keegan Murray when he is reunited with his twin brother Kris Wednesday night on an NBA floor.
The Murray twins have spent most of their 23 years together, but they will be opponents for the first time on Wednesday night. Keegan’s Sacramento Kings will host his brother Kris’ Portland Trail Blazers. The Murrays are the eighth pair of twins in NBA history.
“This can be weird because we’ve never been on opposite sidelines before,” Keegan Murray told Andscape. “So, it’s going to be different. But it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Having a twin brother be in the NBA, too, it will be fun.”
The first twins in NBA history were Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, who played in the 1960s and 1970s. Other twins who played in the NBA include Horace and Harvey Grant and Jason and Jarron Collins. Including the Murrays, there are five current pairs of twins in the NBA: Brook and Robin Lopez, Marcus and Markieff Morris, Caleb and Cody Martin, and rookies Amen and Ausar Thompson.
The Murray twins’ parents, Kenyon and Michelle, are expected to attend the game Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. With the Murray twins both playing forward, it’s possible they could guard each other.
“I am looking forward to it,” Kris Murray told Andscape. “Yeah, it will be cool playing against him, especially growing up watching the NBA together. My parents will be excited for it, definitely. They’ll probably shed some tears.”
The Murray twins followed in their father’s footsteps to the University of Iowa. Keegan Murray entered the 2022 NBA draft after a strong sophomore season at Iowa in which he averaged 23.5 points and 8.7 rebounds during the 2021-22 season. Kris Murray considered entering the 2022 NBA draft but opted to stay at Iowa after averaging 9.7 points per game as a sophomore.
“I knew going back that I trusted myself and trusted what I was doing the offseason to have a really good year at Iowa last season. I was definitely close to going to the draft, but I feel like it was better for me to wait another year and develop throughout that year and get ready for this year,” Kris Murray said.
The Kings selected Keegan Murray with the fourth overall pick in the 2022 NBA draft. It marked the first time the Murray twins were separated for any length of time. They were able to stay connected daily thanks to their phones.
“We definitely needed time away from each other,” Kris Murray said. “Obviously, together as twins, you kind of do everything together. So, it was kind of that time where we both wanted to be away from each other. So, I definitely cherished it. Definitely enjoyed my experience in my last year in college and [to] be able to kind of make a name to myself and just be away from him. So, we both definitely would rather be together, but we’re perfectly fine.”
“We FaceTimed every day. Whether we’re talking about basketball or not, I’ve told him a lot of stuff about the NBA, what I’ve had to go through and stuff like that,” Keegan said.
Keegan Murray made the 2023 NBA All-Rookie first team after averaging 12.2 points and 4.6 rebounds last season and set and NBA rookie record for made 3-pointers. With his twin brother gone, Kris Murray had a stellar sophomore season with the Hawkeyes, averaging 20.2 points and 7.9 rebounds.
Kris Murray gained some valuable insight about playing in the NBA during his brother’s rookie year. He also attended Kings playoff games in the first round of the 2023 NBA playoffs. While Kris Murray is much more of a talker than his brother, the Kings forward told him to “stay true to yourself and be ready” for your rookie season.
“Just trust your work and everything that you put into it,” Kris Murray said. “You kind of see it from him on the court. He doesn’t waver a lot. He has the same mentality, [in] practice too and everything. So, for me, it’s just kind of stay calm-headed, know that my time will come. Just stay true to my work, stay in the same routine every single day. Make sure I’m getting my reps in.”
Kris Murray entered the 2023 NBA draft following his junior year at Iowa. While there was speculation that he could join his brother in Sacramento, he never worked out for the Kings. Keegan Murray attended the 2022 NBA draft in Brooklyn, New York, with his family and didn’t last long in the green room. With uncertainty about when he would be selected and in search of less fanfare, Kris’ 2023 NBA draft party was held at home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was selected with the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2023 NBA draft by the Blazers. The Kings had the 24th selection.
“I needed to take that deep breath and be with family. I got to go last year with Keegan and do that whole thing and it really wasn’t my cup of tea,” Kris Murray said.
“It would be cool to be able to play with him at some point, whether it’s my rookie year or eventually down the line. But for him to be in Portland and kind of be separate from me, I feel like it’s really good for him just to be able to figure it out on his own,” Keegan Murray said.
Keegan Murray is averaging 12.8 points and 6.0 rebounds with the Kings this season. His brother, however, has yet to score while playing in two NBA games. Perhaps the rookie could score the first two points of his career Wednesday night against his brother.
Despite the brotherly love, the Murray twins’ competitive past gives a glimpse of what it could be like if they guard each other Wednesday night.
“Before college, we played one-on-one so much that it was kind of hard for both of us to score,” Keegan said. “And my dad was getting fed up with us arguing and pushing and stuff like that and he just told us to walk out the gym. And that was probably the best moment because that was kind of when we knew we kind of had each other lock down a little bit. But we’ve had a lot of good moments and stuff like that back and forth.”