The Denver Nuggets are the reigning NBA champions. Currently 36-18 on the season, right ahead of the All-Star break, the Nuggets once again find themselves in a position to contend for title. While Nikola Jokic packs his suitcase and prepares for a trip to Indianapolis for this season's All-Star festivities, Jamal Murray was once again left out of the All-Star Game, a trend that has become way too common for the 26-year-old.

Now in his eighth season with the Nuggets, Murray has proven to be one of the better scoring guards in the Western Conference. In fact, this is the third straight season in which he has averaged over 20 points per game while shooting 45 percent or better from the floor. The recognition of being an All-Star always looms large in Murray's mind, but his sole focus remains on helping take Denver back to the NBA Finals in order to claim their second championship in as many years.

“Obviously, I would love to be an All-Star,” the Nuggets guard told The Athletic recently. “I’d love to get that kind of recognition. But I think when you win in the playoffs, you win on the biggest stages you play and show yourself on the biggest stages and you prove yourself against those so-called All-Stars, (then it’s) whatever…”

One of the biggest reasons for Murray's recent All-Star snubs is the fact that he has missed numerous games due to injuries. After missing all of the 2021-22 season as he recovered from an ACL injury, Murray played in 45 of his team's 59 games heading into the All-Star break last season. So far this year, he has played in 40 of Denver's 54 games, a similar situation to the 2022-23 season.

Availability is always taken into account when it comes to players making the All-Star rosters. In Murray's case, missing games and being the Nuggets' No. 2 option alongside Jokic have resulted in no recognition coming his way. Then again, the only recognition Murray really seems to care about is in the postseason, when it matters most.

“I’m an All-Star when you need the All-Star to show up — in the playoffs. You want the best to step up (then), right? And I think I do a good job of that,” Murray continued. “So I kind of backed myself up in that way. That’s it. That’s what it is. So it’s just more fuel to the fire. But (not being selected an All-Star) doesn’t hurt me like that, psychologically. I haven’t made it for so long, and I’m a champion. And I’m on the best team in the world playing with the best player in the world (in Jokić).”

At some point, it seems inevitable that Murray will receive the All-Star designation that he has deserved for years. Until that day, Murray is more than happy to settle with playing alongside Jokic on their quest to add another championship banner in Denver.