A professional football player, Marcus D. Camby, graduated from Conrad High School, in West Hartford, but he finished his High school education in Hartford Public School. Camby went on to play three years at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he garnered several records, including second all-time total blocked shots, at 336, the fourth ever player to have a minimum of 300 career blocked shots, and as an NCAA freshman, he also held a record 105 total rejections in his first year at UMass.
In the 1995-96 season, Camby bagged the Naismith College Player of the Year Award, as well as the John R. Wooden Award. Instrumental in the many UMass #1 rankings, Camby was also crucial in the 1996 NCAA Final Four placement. During the NCAA tournament, Camby set another record, with 43 total blocked shots, in 11 games. Later, UMass was removed from the NCAA Final Four, after it was revealed that Camby had accepted money from two sports agent. Camby did not complete his final year at UMass, and went on to join the NBA draft instead.
In the 1996 NBA Draft, Camby managed a spot n the Toronto Raptors, when was selected in the second overall, in the first round. He remained with the Raptors till 1998, after which he was traded to the New York Knicks, who traded in Charles Oakley instead. This exchange was heavily criticized by Knicks fans, with Oakley being a long time favorite. But they later praised the move, as Camby proved instrumental in the Knicks reaching the NBA Finals, in the 1998-99 season.
Camby remained with the Knicks till 2000, after which he was traded to the Denver Nuggets, who exchanged Antonio McDyess in return. Being the winner in terms of blocked shots for several season, Camby suffered from numerous injuries, which lessened the impact of his performance. Camby managed the career high 12.0 rebounds per game, 1.4 steals per game and 9.6 defensive rebounds per game, in the 2005-06 season with the Nuggets. Camby was also crucial to the Northwest Division win by the Nuggest, which earned them a playoff berth. He averaged 12.8 points per game, and also led the league in terms of blocks per game.
In December, 2006, Camby was a part of the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl, which resulted in his eviction from the team, though he did not receive a suspension. He redeemed himself by winning the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in the 2006-07 season, which was the first award of his career. In the 2006-07 season, Camby had averaged 3.3 blocks per game, which placed at the top of the league, 9.3 defensive rebounds per game, which placed in second in the league, 1.24 steals per game, once again second among centers and finally 11.7 rebounds per game, for which he was fifth in the league.
Continuing his excellent performance in the next season, Camby posted a triple-double with 11 rebounds, 10 blocks and 10 points; this was his third triple-double. Camby finished the season with an average 13.1 rebounds per game, which placed him second in the league, 10.2 defensive rebounds per game, again second in the league, 18.1 rebounds per 48 minutes, for which he stood first in the league, 3.61 blocks per game, again first in the league, 14.1 defensive rebounds per 48 minutes, placing him first in the league, a total of 285 blocks, for which he stood first in the league, 3.3 assists per game, placing him second amongst centers and 1.06 steals per game, for which he stood third amongst centers.
In 2008, after the Nuggets lost to Charlotte Bobcats, Camby posted an impressive 20 points, 6 assists, 6 blocks and 23 rebounds for the game, making him the fourth player since 1999 to have such a score. Later in the month of January, Camby gave another impressive performance at the Nuggets home win against the Utah Jazz, becoming the third player since blocked shots became an official NBA stat, to gain at least 11 blocks and 24 rebounds in one game.
Camby continued his record setting gameplay, posting his 1,000th blocked shot in the Nuggets home win against the New Jersey Nets, in January, 2008. In March the same season, Camby recorded his second triple-double, of that season, in a macth against the Seattle SuperSonics, garnering 15 rebounds, 10 assists and 13 points.
Following this record, Camby was traded by the Nuggets, to the Los Angeles Clippers, in exchange for the option of swapping second round draft picks, in the 2010 NBA Draft. Even though Camby began the 2008-09 season at the power forward position, an injury to starting center player, Chris Kaman, as well as the arrival of Zach Randolph, forward, resulted in him moving back to the familiar starting center position.
Expressing his disappointment at the trade by the Nuggets, Camby remarked, “I thought I had done everything possible that I could do with that team, and just tried to go about things the right way. I just thought the way they went about it was classless; they didn’t let me know anything. That’s a thing of the past right now, that’s something I put behind me and I’m looking forward to embarking on this journey.”
In December, 2008, Camby went on to post a career high 27 rebounds, against the Chicago Bulls. He also scored 2 assists, 19 point, 4 blocks and 1 steal in the game.
Some of his most memorable awards and honors include, NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award for the 2006-07 season, NBA All-Defensive First Team, for the 2006-07 season as well the 2007-08 season. NBA All-Rookie First Team for the 1996-97 season, and the Associated Press First-Team All-American for the 1995-96 season, apart from others.
Apart from this, Camby has courted trouble numerous times, including 1997, when he was arrested on charges of possession of marijiuana, and in July he agreed to a plea deal, for which he completed 16 hours of community service. Camby also found himself in a tight spot, after commenting on the NBA’s dress code, where he said, “I don’t see it happening unless every NBA player is given a stipend to buy clothes.” This comment was considered immensely tasteless, as Camby was all set to make $ 7.5 million that season.
In April, 2001, Camby’s mother as well as two sisters, were taken hostage by, Troy Crooms, a Hartford resident. The 8-hour ordeal ended with Crooms being arrested and charged for multiple offences.