Marvin Bagley Jr: “Please Trade MB3 ASAP!”
The young forward’s father has caused a media frenzy due to his recent twitter comments
When the regular season opened up on December 23rd, the Sacramento Kings were not expected to fare well over the first six contests.
With two games against each of the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, an 0-6 start seemed very realistic. Denver appeared in the Western Conference Finals last season, Phoenix has revamped its roster and the Kings have historically struggled in Houston.
Here we are on January 3rd, with the team holding a 3-3 record after playing–for the most part–good basketball.
For some, the surprisingly strong start by the team has not been enough.
Marvin Bagley III’s father, Marvin Bagley Jr., tweeted the following during Saturday night’s loss in Houston:
“PLEASE trade Marvin Bagley III ASAP! Love – Coach Bagley,” Bagley Jr. tweeted from the Twitter account @TeamBagley, a family account.
Shortly after the tweet was published, Bagley Jr. erased it–but not before screenshots of the trade demand went viral.
Marvin Bagley III, the second-overall pick from the 2018 NBA Draft, has not gotten off to an ideal start in his professional career. After an overall strong rookie season in 2018-19 that saw him make the All-Rookie First team, the young forward only appeared in 13 games last season due to an assortment of injuries.
Bagley returned to training camp after a bout with COVID-19 looking healthy and hungry to make his mark in the league.
“I feel great, I feel the best I have ever felt in awhile,” Bagley said during training camp.
“I took some time this offseason to put more time into my body, just do everything that I could control to make sure that I’m on the court and available for my team. Last season, I’m putting that behind me. I really don’t care to talk about it anymore. I’m excited to be with this new group of guys and I’m excited to build on what we have been doing so far.”
Bagley got off to a strong start over the first two games, posting back-to-back double-doubles against Denver and Phoenix.
The 21-year-old had one of the best showings of his career against the Nuggets on December 29th, scoring 18 points in the first-half. Bagley would struggle to score in the second-half, failing to score another point and finish six-of-12 from the field over only 25 minutes of playing time.
Kings head coach Luke Walton has held Bagley out of the lineup during crunch time this season, opting to sit the former Duke Blue Devil for the last six-to-seven minutes of each contest.
The disgruntled tweets from Bagley Jr. started during the game on December 29th against Denver when Walton did not put Bagley back into the game during the fourth-quarter.
As was the case in the game against Denver, Bagley was not on the floor in the closing minutes of Thursday’s loss in Houston after Bagley struggled from the field, only converting one of his nine field goal attempts in the loss.
“He’s made some nice progress in the short season so far… We know he has a very bright future. We are going to be patient, continue to teach,” Walton said after Saturday night’s loss. “He’s been great as far as actively learning and actively searching out to become better.”
Walton was not phased by the trade demand when informed after the game, stating that the team would keep those discussions in house.
“My message is always the same. We don’t listen to any of that. It’s us within these walls, us within this locker room,” Walton told the media.
When it comes down to it, the tweets from Bagley Jr. hurt each party involved. It puts all of Walton, Bagley, Bagley Jr. and the entire Kings organization in a tough spot.
Marvin Bagley III is a starting power forward in the National Basketball Association. That is his occupation.
It is not his father’s.
After a brutal season last year in which Bagley had his name dragged by fans and media due to not being on the floor, you would think that the family would want to avoid any other negative press.
Bagley being injured last season was out of his control. The kid wants to play basketball. He wants to be out there on the floor with his teammates, to make a name for himself.
Injuries are out of a players control.
However, this is something that can be controlled. Basketball fans have become accustomed to the overbearing parent in basketball thanks to LaVar Ball, the father of guards Lonzo and LaMelo Ball.
The elder Ball was a media sensation when Lonzo was drafted in 2017 due to his outlandish remarks and intense personality.
Reports later surfaced that Lonzo advised his father to ease up on the antics, and LaVar has since changed the way that he handles himself in front of the media.
“We had a couple rumblings here and there, but everything got squared away,” Lonzo Ball told ESPN’s Malika Andrews in September of 2020. “When your son gets older, they’re going to butt heads with their dad, and that’s what I did for about a year and a half. But everything is cool now.”
Like Ball, Bagley is now in a spot where things must be extinguished.
Major publications have taken the Bagley Jr. tweet and ran with it, such as Bleacher Report, Yahoo! Sports, The Athletic and NBC Sports.
It will not go away overnight, but it is important that Bagley and his camp rectify the situation in the coming days to avoid a strife with the organization.
This is basketball. It is a team sport.
Bagley Jr. needs to understand that these antics only hurt the team, and most importantly, they hurt his son as well.
Putting even more pressure on Marvin Bagley III’s shoulder is not what he needs right now. He is 21 years old and coming off of a year that was undoubtedly the hardest of his young life.
Through all of that, he is a starting forward in the NBA.
Bagley’s trade value is not high at the moment, as the third-year big has only appeared in 81 games over three seasons and is currently shooting 37-percent from the field so far this year.
The best thing that can happen right now is for Bagley Jr. to step aside and let the team develop his son.
“Liking” tweets like this, which Bagley Jr. did on December 29th, will not help the situation.
Drama always seems to find the Sacramento Kings.
Did we really expect 2021 to be any different?