Marvin Bagley III has done pretty well in adjusting to life in the NBA. His Sacramento Kings look primed to make a push for the postseason, he’s turned into an absolute nightmare off the bench as a scorer and a rebounder, and before he even stepped on the court, the former Duke standout was the first athlete to come on board with Puma as part of the company’s decision to get back into basketball.
Amid all of this, Bagley has established himself as an invaluable part of an exciting young core in Sacramento, one that features a metric ton of exciting players, guys like De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, and Bogdan Bogdanovic. For the first time in a long, long time, there’s optimism that the Kings could be on the verge of something special, and if all goes right, Sacramento will play a playoff game for the first time since 2005-06.
We spoke to Bagley at Puma’s NBA All-Star space about getting used to the NBA, being a rookie with a major sneaker deal, and how the game has slowed down over his 43-game career.
You’re a 19-year-old dude. This is your first year in the league, and this is really the first time in your life you haven’t had to worry about school, you haven’t had to worry about class. Is there a hard adjustment to just being all basketball, all the time and not having those secondary responsibilities?
No, that was easy. That was the easiest part about it all. You know I love playing, I love being around it. To do it every day without anything else distracting me and just having to focus on other stuff, I like that. It was an easy adjustment, and like I said, whenever I have a chance to get better and pick what I’m doing, it’s always good.
So you said that was the easiest part. What was the hardest part?
The hardest part was just learning the NBA, the traveling and just seeing how everything works, but I got used to it. It’s coming along very well for me.
The Kings haven’t made the playoffs in more than a decade. When you got there, was there an expectation that between you, between De’Aaron, and some of the other young guys this had the potential to be a really special year?