Corey Maggette has spent the last two decades around the NBA in some capacity. Whether he was playing, commentating, helping out with some coaching, or even talking part of the Big3, he certainly hasn’t phased out of the game.

In those last two decades, the amount of Duke players seem to go up all the time. There used to be only a few former players scattered around the league, but now the Duke brotherhood is as strong as ever.

Starting a trend

Looking at players like Kyrie Irving, Zion Williamson, Jabari Parker, Austin Rivers, Brandon Ingram, and plenty of others, so many Duke players now in the NBA only spent one year in Durham. The first guys who pulled this off? Corey Maggette. He spent just one year playing for Duke, helping them reach the national title game in 1999 before declaring for the draft. Now, it’s pretty much assumed that any talented player at Duke will only spend one year there.

Not everyone was initially on board with this type of behavior at Duke. Maggette, as well as sophomores Elton Brand and William Avery, offended a lot of Duke students and alums for leaving a top institution before graduating. They all ended up being 1st round draft picks and earning millions of dollars, so it was hard to argue with their decision. 

Coach Mike Krzyzewski was not too fond of this one-and-done era in the beginning, but he has since embraced the movement. He encourages his players to go out and secure a lucrative contract in the NBA if they are talented enough. Maggette helped morph the Duke brotherhood into what it is today.

Despite having limited time in college, it seems like the Duke bond is extremely strong. Players get that opportunity to not only play in a storied Cameron Indoor Arena, but also for a Hall of Fame coach. The fact that there are alums everywhere also helps keep everyone connected in the game.

Feb 3, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Former NBA player and current Fox Sports analyst Corey Maggette sets the game up for television before the Toronto Raptors game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Scotiabank Arena. The Raptors beat the Clippers 121-103. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Connections in Los Angeles

The majority of Maggette’s playing career was spent with the Los Angeles Clippers, so when it came time to look for opportunities post-playing career, he stayed around the local affiliates. This has allowed him to be in the epicenter of the NBA in a lot of ways, since plenty of players call the Los Angeles area home.

Currently, there isn’t a Duke player on the roster, but guys such as Rivers and JJ Redick have been there recently. Sharing the arena is the Los Angeles Lakers, and they have obviously had guys like Ingram, Quinn Cook, and others playing for them.

Los Angeles is a long way from Durham, but the Duke bond within NBA circles is always there. Now that Maggette has started to dabble into some coaching, he even assists some players in the offseason looking for a good workout.

Leading the Duke Fraternity 

It’s pretty amazing to see the strides made by players from that national runner-up team roughly two decades ago. Trajan Langdon and Elton Brand are both prominent front office guys in the NBA right now. Shane Battier is currently the Director of Basketball Analytics and Development for the NBA.

As for Maggette, he is doing some work in media, as well as helping out those younger players with deep connection. He might not make it back to Durham that often, but he is a guy who always had nothing but positive things to say about his time there. Anyone with Duke connections is automatically a friend in his book, and it is what makes the brotherhood so special in the end.

Watch some Youtube highlight videos from the BIG3 featuring Corey Maggette: