Bagley III: We Only Cared About Winning

Marvin Bagley III reflected on his time at Duke and preparing for the NBA Draft

Tiki and Tierney
June 18, 2018 - 9:42 am

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The basketball world will soon turn its attention to the NBA Draft. Marvin Bagley III, the freshman phenom from Duke, is widely regarded as one of the top talents in the draft and expected to be taken early in the first round.


Bagley dropped by Tiki and Tierney on Friday to discuss the draft, his time at Duke, and the transition from college basketball to the NBA, among other topics.


“It’s fun,” Bagley said of the draft process. “It’s been exciting. I’m just trying to take it one day at a time and enjoy it all.”


Bagley is one of several Duke prospects expected to be drafted in the lottery, as all five of Duke’s starters participated in the draft combine in May.


“At the end of the day, we all wanted to win a national championship and we didn’t let any outside talk come in between that,” Bagley said. “The way that Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) was able to pull everyone together and preach about the team, it helped us and we were only worried about one thing: winning.”

Bagley enjoyed playing with Grayson Allen, who was arguably the most polarizing player in college basketball.

“Grayson was a good teammate," Bagley said. "He was cool to be around. Very cool dude off the court. Always laughing, joking, making jokes about different stuff. He was a pretty good dude to be around. I’m happy I got a chance to play with him and learn. He helped me a lot, especially coming in and him being there three years, being through that and already having won a national championship – just being able to learn from him and ask questions was helpful. It was good to get to play with him.”


Bagley, 19, noted that he’d like to go as high as possible in the draft, but will work hard regardless of his destination.


“It all depends on fitting into wherever you get drafted,” Bagley said. “Obviously, I’m a competitor and you never wanted to be second. At the end of the day, it’s about the amount of work that I’m willing to put in to get better, so it doesn’t matter.”


Bagley was a dominant force in college, as he was a consensus first team All-American and won ACC Player of the Year. Many consider him to be NBA ready, though he is aware of the learning curve that rookies experience when they first enter the league.


“The NBA is a lot different from college,” he said. “It’s about adjusting and being ready to come in and help the team. I try to take it all in and learn from each team that I’ve talked to and just try to continue to grow.”