Jamal Murray’s childhood “pain tolerance” drills under his father caused a stir on Twitter Thursday. (Watch the video below.)
He also got a floor burn on his hand, prompting ESPN’s Malika Andrews to revisit the controversial drills in an interview with him.
In sharing part of the chat on Thursday, Andrews noted in the caption that Murray’s “dad would have him do pain tolerance drills ― including balancing cups of hot tea on his quads while holding a squat ― to prepare for moments like this.”
Murray elaborated, “I had to squat there for a while ― a lot of the time without a clock, so you didn’t know how much time was left.”
The guard from Canada said his father would also have him pick up autumn leaves with bare hands in the cold to toughen them up.
“Little things like that helped me out and built my threshold,” he said.
The sports network once devoted much of an article to Murray’s taxing routine as a youth. His martial arts-loving father, Roger, trained him to succeed in the NBA since he was an infant. The regimen included pushups and 3-point attempts outside in the snow, and a standing rule by age 7 that Murray couldn’t stop practicing until he sank 30 straight free throws.
It also provided details about the tea drill. Murray held a deep squat for 12 minutes with “piping hot” tea balanced on his thigh “to make sure you do not waver,” ESPN reported.
But Roger Murray defended his coaching methods. “For me, it was proving to him that he could do it, that it was mind over matter,” he told the Denver Post in 2017.
The Nuggets and Heat meet in Miami for Game 4 Friday night.