The G League Ignite phenom spoke with Boardroom before becoming the newest member of the Dallas Mavericks at the 2022 NBA Draft.
Jaden Hardy was the third G League Ignite prospect taken in the 2022 draft, but he set himself apart in no uncertain terms on the night. The Detroit native dazzled in a custom-made white suit with a collar accented by diamonds. The Dallas Mavericks, who acquired his services via the Sacramento Kings, now enter the 2022-23 campaign hoping he’s a proper diamond in the rough after the Michigan native fell to 37th overall.
On the NBA Draft red carpet ahead of hearing his name announced on the big stage, Hardy spoke with Boardroom about his choice of attire, why he chose the G League route over college, and how he plans to spend his first $1 million.
On his NBA Draft fit:
I knew this event was super special to me. It was something I always dreamed of, so it was only right that I came right. It had to look good. What went into this is I knew I wanted a cream color, I feel like that fit my tone, my skin really well.
And I wanted to stand out with the jewels. It cost a bag [laughs]. My chain right here, it’s in the shape of a rose to symbolize my mom, and on the side it’s a J for my name, Jaden, and the No. 1 for the number I wear. In the middle, it’s an H for my last name, Hardy. And right at the bottom, it’s like a sword for when I’m ready to go out there on the court — I’m ready to kill. It means a lot to me.
A song that would describe his feeling on the red carpet on Draft Day:
“Congratulations” by Babyface Ray.
The NBA player he’s most excited to play against:
LeBron. Just being able to watch LeBron when I was growing up, he was always somebody I wanted to be like.
What he’s doing with the first $1 million he earns:
First check, I’ll probably give it to my grandma just because of all the sacrifices she’d make when I was younger and making sure I had food and clothes.
Why he chose the G League over college:
I was just ready to be a pro. I felt like playing in that setting was only going to prepare me more for when I get here to this level. And it was a great learning experience.
When he first thought he could make the NBA:
I first knew when I was in high school. I always had the confidence in myself, and I knew once I kept working and I was seeing my game getting better, I threw all my trust in God and I thank God that I’m here.
If he could dunk on one NBA player, whom would it be?
Either LeBron or Giannis.
If he could only choose one streaming service to use: