Sacramento Kings

Bagley’s grandfather ‘Jumpin’ Joe’ was also drafted No. 2. Why his career had a sour end

The St. Louis Hawks' Joe Caldwell (27) starts a descent after tipping in a rebound on Nov. 4, 1967, in St. Louis. Caldwell was selected second in the 1964 draft out of Arizona State, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward going to the Detroit Pistons. Now his grandson, Marvin Bagley III, has been selected in the 2018 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings.
The St. Louis Hawks' Joe Caldwell (27) starts a descent after tipping in a rebound on Nov. 4, 1967, in St. Louis. Caldwell was selected second in the 1964 draft out of Arizona State, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward going to the Detroit Pistons. Now his grandson, Marvin Bagley III, has been selected in the 2018 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings. AP file

Marvin Bagley III isn't the first of his family to get picked in the NBA draft.

Shoot, he may not even be the best athlete at the dinner table during family holiday settings, which is saying something.

Bagley, all arms, legs, length and upside, went No. 2 overall to the Kings on Thursday afternoon, joining his grandfather, who a generation earlier received the same honor.

Joe Caldwell was selected second in the 1964 draft out of Arizona State, the 6-foot-5 guard/forward going to the Detroit Pistons.

He was such a renowned leaper with a reported 50-inch vertical that he went by "Jumpin' Joe" or "Pogo Joe."

He was a two-time All-Star in the NBA and a two-time All-Star in the rival American Basketball Association, making the leap for a higher salary to a league that eventually went under in 1976, buckling under mounting financial woes.

Caldwell averaged 18.2 points over three seasons at Arizona State and was a charter member of the program's Hall of Fame. Caldwell was on the 1964 U.S. team that won Olympic gold. His best NBA season was in 1970 when he averaged 21.1 points for Atlanta before signing with Carolina of the ABA, where he played four seasons.

Best known for defense, Caldwell averaged 17.5 points over his final five seasons with Carolina and St. Louis and scored 12,619 total over his professional career. But Caldwell's career ended long before he wanted it to.

He was outspoken, pleading for contract fairness as a president of the ABA's players association.

St. Louis management during the 1974 season accused Caldwell of convincing star teammate Marvin Barnes to leave the team hours before a game against the Nets to dispute his salary. Caldwell has denied this claim.

He maintained for years that he advised Barnes to talk to agents about salaries. The franchise suspended Caldwell indefinitely with 61 games left in the season, thrusting him into hoops limbo. No other teams signed him.

Caldwell filed lawsuits against both leagues, alleging teams conspired to keep him out. The suit charged that he was deprived of the rest of his career, more salary and a pension. The case was dismissed 21 years later by the Supreme Court in 1996.

Court costs and lost salary bankrupted him. He and his family wound up living in the same house outside Tempe, Ariz., that he initially bought for his mother decades earlier. Bagley lived with him for spell.

Bagley moved to Southern California to finish his prep career at Sierra Canyon in Chatsworth, where he was the top-rated player in the country two years ago before a stellar freshman season at Duke.

Caldwell has been a big influence on his grandson, attending his games throughout high school and college.

"I would have liked to have played my 15 or 20 years, retired and get inducted into the Hall of Fame," Caldwell told The New York Times years later. "They made this one lie stand and it destroyed my career, my finances."

Caldwell was one of 11 children born near Houston, the son of a longshoreman and mechanic. The family moved to Los Angeles when Caldwell was 12. He emerged as a late-bloomer player to the point John Wooden courted him to play for him at UCLA. He ended up at Arizona State, and a career was born.

Vlade Divac, Sacramento Kings general manager, is excited to have Marvin Bagley III on team after drafting him with the second pick on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

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