Whatever Happened to Former NBA Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Camby?
Marcus Camby established himself as one of the best defensive players in the NBA during his career. The 6-foot-11 center was a nightmare for opponents, and players struggled when they would try to go head-on with Camby.
Camby was in the same draft class as Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant. The big man was one of the top prospects coming out of college.
Marcus Camby dominated at the college level
In high school, Camby was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in Connecticut after leading his team to a 27-0 record and a state title his senior year. He went on to play in college at the University of Massachusetts, where he went on to have an impressive career. During his career there, he set an NCAA freshman record with 105 blocks and was named the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year.
Camby had a lot of success during his junior year. He won the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith College Player of the Year Award. Camby led UMass to multiple No. 1 rankings throughout the season, and he helped lead the team to the 1996 NCAA Final Four. During the NCAA tournament, Camby set a record of 43 blocked shots in 11 games.
After his junior year, Camby decided to enter the NBA draft. Camby was the second overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft behind Allen Iverson. The center went to the Toronto Raptors, where he looked to have the same success there as he did in college.
A look at Marcus Camby’s NBA career
Camby had a productive rookie season in Toronto. He averaged 14.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. Camby was named to the All-Rookie First Team. The next season he led the league in blocks with 3.7 per game. Camby quickly established himself as a rim protector. After spending two seasons in Toronto, he was traded to the New York Knicks, where he backed up Patrick Ewing.
During the 1998-99 season, the Knicks went into the playoffs as the eighth seed and made a huge run throughout the playoffs to find themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals. Ewing went down in the series, and Camby stepped up in a big way. He helped lead the Knicks past the Pacers and into the 1999 NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs went on to beat the Knicks in five games. Camby spent four seasons in New York and became a starter during his final two seasons.
Throughout his career, Camby continued to put up impressive stats. He led the league in blocks three straight seasons from 2006 to 2008 when he was playing for the Denver Nuggets. Camby finished his career playing for the LA Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. He played his final season with the Knicks. Camby won the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2007, and he was named to four All-Defensive teams. He finished his career averaging 9.5 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game.
Marcus Camby’s career after playing in the NBA
After Camby’s playing career was over, he did not get back involved in basketball in any way. In 2019, he and his wife of nearly 14 years got divorced, and Camby agreed to pay her $4.1 million and $15,000 in child support. Even though he was having success on the court, things did not seem to be working out in his personal life.
The 46-year-old has not been in the media recently. But one thing is for sure, Camby had a good NBA career and played his position at a high level.