‘It’s kind of hard to accept failure.’ Meet Marvin Bagley III, a favorite for Kings’ No. 2 pick
Marvin Bagley III donned a Kings’ practice jersey during an individual workout Monday, but it’s yet to be seen if Sacramento's Golden 1 Center will become his NBA home following the draft.
Bagley, 19, enters Thursday's NBA draft after averaging 21 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for Duke en route to an Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year award.
The 6-foot-11 power forward makes for an intriguing prospect for the Kings with the second overall pick due to his size and skill, but here’s three things you might not know about the All-American freshman:
In a league of his own (almost)
Bagley’s dominance during his one-and-done season at Duke was so elite that he accomplished what only one other player has in ACC history.
He became the second player in the conference to capture both a rookie of the year and player of the year award in the same season. The first was fellow Duke alum Jahlil Okafor, who averaged approximately four fewer points and three fewer rebounds per game in 2014-15 than Bagley did this past season.
The list of perennial All-Star NBA players to have not accomplished this feat during their time in the ACC includes Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Vince Carter, Tim Duncan and arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan.
Jordan most likely won't be holding a grudge towards Bagley for accomplishing something he never did in college, but the same might not be said for the top-five pick's choice of Puma shoes over Nike and, by extension Air Jordan this week.
Bagley inked a five-year endorsement deal with Puma, which makes him the first NBA player to do so since Carter signed with the company 20 years ago after playing three seasons in the ACC, according to The Athletic.
However, this decision was unexpected due to Bagley's long-running history with Nike. As reported by ESPN, his relationship with the company included it financing his father's Amateur Athletic Union team, him playing in the swoosh-sponsored Drew League last year and Duke also being sponsored by Nike.
A basketball nomad
Basketball sneakers aren't the only things that have changed for Bagley over the years. He's found himself moving from team to team throughout his life.
The AAU way of play often brought Bagley coaches that wanted him to bang around in the paint with his towering size, but his father disagreed and wanted him to develop into an all-around player similar to NBA stalwarts Ben Simmons and LeBron James, according to a Slam magazine feature in 2017.
“Some teams held me back, and that’s when my parents came in and we moved to a lot of different teams,” Bagley told Slam. “I can’t count how many teams I’ve been on.”
In terms of high school, Bagley has played for three different basketball programs: Corona del Sol High School (Tempe, Ariz.), Hillcrest Prep (Phoenix), where he played alongside No. 1 overall projected pick DeAndre Ayton, and Sierra Canyon School (Chatsworth).
Despite bouncing around from team to team, Bagley's consistency on the court (24.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game in his last prep season) remained the same and it's a path one team will hope continues come his rookie NBA season.