Corey Maggette’s retiring. Least that’s what he’s telling people. The Spurs released him on Tuesday and now, after 14 years, he’s most likely done.
I saw Maggette play once. My friend Colt got tickets to a Thunder-Warriors game and invited me along. We sat pretty low. The seats themselves were behind the the goal nearest the Thunder bench and sitting very close to us the whole time are the Thunder Girls. They’re dolled up looking like if you touched them everything on the face of the earth would come crashing down around you: namely self tanner, hairspray, a little glitter, and blonde extensions. Colt keeps shouting “Daaaaaay Oh” at the top of his lungs when the PA announcer prompts him. Organically it grows into him just shouting nonsense noises ala Michael Scott with Tim Meadows at Chili’s when Jan tried to step in and take over before Mike could officially set the hook. Soon the Thunder Girls start laughing when he does it. We are kings and we’re going to live forever.
This is 2010 and the Warriors are bad. The game is fairly boring because of that. They stay in it, kind of, for the better part of three quarters, then the Thunder put the pedal down and extend out the lead and with four minutes left in the game it’s a ho-hum close to twenty point drubbing. The one bright spot that game for the W’s? Maggette.
Maggette went for twenty plus and generally played the kind of game he’ll be remembered for. A guy who put up numbers on bad teams.
His best seasons as a player came in 03-04 and 04-05 as a key member of middling Clippers teams when he averaged around 20 and 22 ppg, respectively — I’m writing this on my phone and auto correct really wanted to turn ppg into pog. APPRECIATE THAT THOUGHT, PHONE — and while he scored like an elite forward at times, he never rebounded or defended like one. The most boards he ever hauled in was 6 per game during that 04-05 campaign.
His legacy, if you’re into such things, will probably be that he’s one of the first dudes to leave Duke early, guy loves him a nice headband, is unafraid to take selfies, looks pretty cool with a shaved head, and while solid, never put it all together at the exact right times to be the biggest and the baddest dude on the block.
But, you know, that doesn’t matter all the way. He was part of the first Clips team since their move from Buffalo to make it to the playoffs in 06-07. That year they made it to the Western Conference semis before bowing out to the 7 Seconds or Less Suns in 7 games. This was back when Shaun Livingston was considered by some to be the point guard of the future, before one of the grossest knee injuries in recent memory took the good him away from us — Can’t stress this enough: If you get queasy at all at the site of Theisman-like injuries, don’t click on that hyper link.
I’m saying, though, Maggette helped get the Clips to the playoffs when getting there was basically a total solar eclipse. I’ll clap for that. Keith Closs, stand up.