Marvin Bagley III tips himself to win MVP in his rookie year

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A key attribute for NBA rookies to have is self-confidence and a strong mentality as they enter a league filled with superstars. 

The Sacramento Kings will be glad to know that Marvin Bagley III has this in abundance. 

The number two overall pick was easily one of the best players in his draft class after an impressive campaign with the Duke Blue Devils. 

He averaged 21.0 points and 11.1 rebounds in his lone season in college. 


The 19-year-old will be among the favourites to win the Rookie of the Year award but he's set his sights much higher. 

Bagley was recently asked who he thinks will win the 2018-19 MVP honour. He could easily have chosen the obvious names such as LeBron James, James Harden or Kevin Durant. 

He could've opted for new candidates like Giannis Antetokounmpo or a wild card like Joel Embiid.

But instead, the youngster chose himself to win the prestigious award. In his rookie year. 

“I would say myself because that’s the type of confidence I have,” said Bagley, per ESPN's Chris Forsberg.

“Not a lot of [rookies] do it, obviously, but if your dreams and goals aren’t high, then you don’t have nothing to work for. So I would say myself.”

If the power forward is somehow able to achieve the feat, he'd become just the third rookie to win an MVP, joining the legendary Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld.

Of course, Bagley would need to do something extraordinary such as leading the Kings to the playoffs next season to even be in the conversation. 

2018 NBA Draft

Adding pressure

There's no faulting his confidence and ambition but he may be putting unnecessary pressure on himself with these comments. 

Bagley is a huge talent but there are still aspects of his game he needs to work on. 

He still needs to improve on his jump shot and he'll certainly have his fair share of struggles like all rookies inevitably do. 

But his driven and motivated attitude will endear him to Sacramento fans and it was surely among the reasons why the franchise selected him at number two. 

In the same interview with ESPN, he also wanted to choose himself for Rookie of the Year but was forced to pick another player.

“I can’t pick myself? Well, if I had to pick someone I’d go with [Kings teammate] Harry [Giles]," he said.

"I’ve seen how he works, man. I’ve been around for a while now, seeing how he plays the game. When he’s playing without thinking and playing at his best, he’s real good.”

Kings fans will hope that Bagley can back up his confidence and take the NBA by storm next year.

CLICK HERE to listen to Episode Two of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring New York Times senior writer Marc Stein. Subscribe for all future episodes.

Harry Giles III
De'Aaron Fox
Pacific Division
James Harden
Sacramento Kings
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LeBron James

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