By Josh Magette as told to Alex Busch
It starts for most guys the first time you touch a basketball.
For me, it was just a dream at first to make it to the NBA. You watch NBA guys on TV, and you try to imitate them. I always loved watching Steve Nash, and that’s the guy who I could compare myself to and play like him.
Heading into college, I had one Division II college scholarship offer. That’s it. To say I was thinking about the NBA would have been a huge lie.
I’m 6-1 and 160 pounds. In the sport of basketball, that’s small, even for a guard. So even in Atlanta sometimes I have to carry my badge. When I’m trying to get on the court after a game to take some pictures with my friends and family, I have to make sure I have my badge so that they know I’m a player. Seriously. It used to bother me, but now it just makes me laugh. It’s all a part of my journey.
Anyways, I went to play at my only offer, at Division II Alabama-Huntsville. But it really was a great experience for me.
You have to really love the game at that level, because it’s not the glamour or the glory that Division I basketball is. I had a great experience and loved it, and we had some really great teams.
Every preseason we played a Division I team. We played Alabama and Vanderbilt — two that I can remember. I knew we were able to compete with them because we took them down to the wire; we even took it to overtime a couple times. It was those times and those moments where I knew that I could compete with guys of that caliber.
Playing there and at that level — it’s really shaped me to be who I am now.
I went overseas for a couple years, then to the G League, and now on a two-way contract. I just have to continue to take it a year at a time. I try to be better than I was the year before. I try to make myself better than before to accomplish my goals.
Something that sticks out for me in my journey to where I am today is when our team made it to the G League Finals a couple years ago when I was in Los Angeles. Looking back on the two rosters that made it to the finals, there were some really good players, a lot of guys that have reached the NBA.
I’ve had several moments that showed me I can make it at the NBA level. Going into training camp last year with Atlanta and making it down to the final cut is an example that I will always remember. Having success in that situation gave me some confidence and carried over into this year. Going into training camp, playing well, and now being able to play some games on that level has been incredible.
When I look at this year, it’s been a huge step.
The synergy between Atlanta and Erie is awesome. I’m really proud of the strides we have made in Erie, because we started the year by losing a bunch of close games, but we’re finding our groove right now.
I’m getting to play in Atlanta, too, which has been a great experience. I will never forget when I made my first NBA basket. But when I go back and look at it — it’s Dirk who gets the ball out of the basket. That’s probably the coolest thing about all of it.
For me, the next step for me is to get a full NBA contract. That’s everyone’s goal. Everyone is pushing for an NBA contract.
It’s been a crazy journey for me, but here we are.
After going undrafted in 2012, Magette played overseas with Landstede in The Netherlands before joining the NBA G League and playing for the then-Los Angeles D-Fenders in 2013-14. He went back overseas to play for Koroivos B.C. in Greece, then returned to play with the D-Fenders in both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Magette is currently a two-way player with the Atlanta Hawks and Erie BayHawks, averaging a league-best assists mark (10.2 per game) for the third straight season.