After Cal’s public practice Wednesday evening at Haas Pavilion — yes, I sacrificed watching the early innings of World Series Game 1 to attend practice — I visited for a few minutes with freshman guard Emerson Murray, who told a great tale.
Seems about three or four weeks ago, Murray stopped by the RSF gym for a Friday evening workout, only to be greeted by Cal legend Jason Kidd.
The two worked out together for more than three hours, Murray said, then chatted for a few minutes.
Murray — no relation to Kidd’s old Cal running mate Lamond Murray — said the first thing he did afterward was call his parents up in Canada.
“I told them what happened and they were probably more excited than I was,” Murray said. “It was more than I could ask for. I’m already in love with the school, and to have an opportunity to do something so special was mind-blowing.”
Murray said he and Kidd did lots of full-court drills. “Just how creative he is is mindblowing,” Murray said. “We did a lot of agility and footwork. You see how he maintains his body and his speed, and how he uses it in flashes to be so productive on the court. It’s just amazing.”
Afterward, Kidd encouraged him to develop his left hand and keep working hard. “He made it simple,” Murray said. “He’s kind of a simple guy when it comes to that stuff. His moves aren’t simple, but he makes everything feel like it’s simple. He was such a welcoming guy. It was amazing.”
Murray debunked an internet story that the two played one-on-one.
“That’s just a myth,” Murray said. “And if we did, I wouldn’t say the score because I’m sure it would be bad.”
Update: Kidd had 18 assists and 12 points Wednesday night as the Mavericks opened the NBA season with a 101-86 win over Charlotte.
The only downside to Murray’s brush with fame is that he worked himself into such a state of fatigue that he came down with mononucleosis that kept him out of practice most of the first week.
“I broke myself down,” he said. “(Including) J-Kidd that day, I worked out nine hours. We had two-a-days, conditioning, then I came in here for three hours with him. I’m so hungry, I don’t think I was working too smart. I was so tired (Saturday) I went home to take a nap and I didn’t wake up until Sunday.”