The physique of Corey Maggette, even at an early age, was something that grabbed attention on the basketball court. Most teenagers do not have the build of Maggette, who looked like a grown man playing amongst boys when he was dominating at the prep level in the Chicago area. 

Did Maggette’s upper body strength make him a dangerous threat at the NBA level? Most would say that was one of his truly unique gifts that he brought to the game. It is something that did not entirely come naturally, as Maggette focused hard on his body from an early age.

Taking contact

Basketball becomes a very physical game at the highest levels. Most talented and athletic players can get by without having much strength at the lower levels, but when going up against grown men, players get pushed around, and movement is dictated considerably.

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This is one of the significant reasons why it is so tricky for younger players to come in and have success at high levels right away. It takes time for players to fill out and gain strength, which allows them to compete against men.

Maggette certainly gained muscle during his NBA career, but when drafted in 1999, he already had the body of a veteran. He was one of the youngest players in the entire draft, but very few thought he would have any struggles at all right away.

Maggette’s style of play early on involved either taking the ball to the basket and finishing in traffic, or getting to the free-throw line. This can be very physically demanding when doing that 82 games a year. Thanks to his upper body strength, Maggette was able to absorb a lot of contact and still finish in specific scenarios. Once he was in the NBA, a lot of his strength workouts focused on building the body up for this type of contact.

Playing and guarding multiple positions

Maggette was ahead of his time in a lot of ways, and being able to play numerous positions is just one example. Maggette had the perfect size and athleticism to guard just about anyone on the court. The only players he truly struggled with were massive centers, but he was quick enough to guard point guards, and strong enough to go up against power forward.

His position changed throughout his career as he evolved into a well-rounded player. At times, he would start at the shooting guard position for his team. Later on in his career, he became a power forward for the Golden State Warriors.

Playing inside requires a lot of strength, especially when a player is not particularly tall. Maggette was able to fight for rebounds and not get pushed around thanks to superb upper body strength and strong legs.

Shooting off the dribble

It might not seem like a ton of strength is needed to shoot the ball, but creating shots in traffic is certainly a challenge. Maggette’s ability to get shots off in traffic comes down to a robust body overall, but specifically his upper body.

A player navigating through traffic in the NBA must be able to have control at all times. Otherwise, they are going to be bumped off their spot and not shoot very well after trouble. Very rarely does a player get an opportunity to dribble around without getting touched, and that is where upper body strength can really come in handy. A player might only get a chance to shoot a mid-range shot in traffic using their upper body strength. 

Endurance and stamina

Maggette suffered through a few different injuries throughout his career, but when he was healthy, few players could match his level of endurance and stamina. He always kept in fantastic shape, and that allowed him to have a substantial amount of success as a player. Upper body strength helped to a certain degree, as he did not wear down as quickly at the end of games. Even when going up against bigger and stronger players, his body did not wear down.

Legs are essential when talking about endurance and stamina, but a strong upper body allowed him to power through as well. In a league where everyone is trying to gain a physical edge on their opponent, this came in handy for Maggette as a player.

Corey Maggette Photo

Staying strong during the season

It is challenging for players to stay physically strong during the NBA season, simply because there are not as many workout opportunities. Most of the bulking up chances came in the summer, but Maggette was also very focused on working out during the season as well. He knew that it was a strong suit for him to stay in great shape, and that work paid off.

Despite all of his injuries, Maggette hung around in the NBA for 14 seasons. Without his focus on strength training and a strong upper body, there is no chance he lasts that long.

On July 8th, 2020 Corey Maggette pulled from Clippers broadcast after accusations of being one of the best Duke Players of all time. Sports Casting reports that the woman who accused the former NBA player Corey Maggette also was a star while he was at Duke University 20 years ago.

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