Mile Wide Smiles
Smiles were plentiful as the four newest members of the Denver Nuggets – Jamal Murray, Juan Hernangomez, Malik Beasley and Petr Cornelie – walked into their first NBA press conference to be introduced to the Denver media.
The Nuggets drafted to fill a big need on their roster – outside shooting – and outside shooting they got. All four players will be able to stretch the floor and be able to help open up the lane for a Nuggets team that ranked 25th in three-point percentage in the 2015-16 regular season.
“Obviously I can help with shooting on the perimeter,” Murray said. “I can open the game up for everybody else [with my shooting too].”
Beyond the percentages and on-court acumen, people around the Nuggets organization just couldn’t stop talking about the content of this group’s character.
“We’re unbelievably fortunate to have all four of these guys,” Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly said. “It’s exciting to see these four faces in our building. Beyond the obvious basketball tools these guys have, I think as you get to know [them], [you] will see their work ethic, their character, their families. These are the type of guys that you can feel trustworthy [about] and you can build with. It’s a very exciting day.”
Each of the rookies then took turns expressing their gratitude and excitement of being in Denver and reality of being drafted into the NBA.
Hernangomez echoed his draft night gratefulness.
“I want to say thank you to the coach, the GM, [the front office] who drafted me,” Hernangomez said. "I’m really happy to be here and I’m really excited to give the fans what they want and that’s to win games.”
Cornelie’s comments were short and sweet.
“I’m just really happy to be here.”
Beasley was still basking in the moment but knows the real work is yet to be done.
“For me, it was my first time in Denver,” Beasley said. “Seeing all the Nuggets logos and meeting all the coaches and staff, that’s when it really hit me.
“But we know it’s business time and we’re all going to work together to make this [franchise] better.”
If this first introduction to these four rookies is any indication, they will be just as good off the court as they are on it.