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Paolo Banchero: The Red Carpet Interview

Boardroom got the inside story from the Duke phenom shortly before he was shocked oddsmakers by going No. 1 overall in the 2022 NBA Draft.

While he didn’t know he was going to be drafted first overall in Thursday’s NBA Draft until 20 seconds before the Orlando Magic made its selection, Duke Blue Devils forward Paolo Banchero certainly knew what he was doing with his outfit. His bright purple ensemble studded with diamonds stood out on the Barclays Center red carpet like his game stood out on the court in Durham.

Boardroom caught up with P5 as he walked the runway. Here’s what he had to say.

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What he was wearing:

“The purple suit made by Dolce & Gabbana and Neiman’s. Got some bracelets, got a Richard [Mille] on. I picked the purple out for myself. I felt like it would look good and I like how it came out. I got help, but I had a vision and it came to life.”

What he’d be doing if not for basketball:

“Probably something with the youth, kids, something like that. Just helping kids out.”

A song that would describe his feeling on the red carpet on Draft Day:

Probably “Long Time Coming” by Baby Money.

What he’s doing with the first million dollars he earns:

“My first mil? Probably trying to stack it, save it. But my first purchase will probably be a car. I haven’t made up my mind all the way. I’m more like an SUV guy. I don’t like small and fast. I like smoother, you know?”

The biggest lesson he learned from Coach K at Duke

“Just no matter where you’re at, whether you’re playing or whether you’re off the court, always having strong body language. Never showing your opponent weakness on the court. And then off the court, like in an environment like this, or anywhere around people, always looking strong, always having your chin up, just looking presentable. That’s some of the best advice.”

When he first thought he could make the NBA
“Probably my eighth- or ninth-grade year. It was always a dream that I was working towards.”

The Seattle ballers that influenced him the most:

Jamal Crawford is definitely up there for me, but really it’s a lot of the guys I watched in high school. I watched Dejounte Murray come up in high school. I played against Kevin Porter Jr. Looked up to him. Jaden McDaniels was my teammate, so I looked up to him. Just a lot of guys. Seattle has a lot of pros that come back and help out. So it’s a blessing.”

If he could dunk on one NBA player, whom would it be?

“Any seven-footer. Doesn’t matter who.”

If he could only choose one streaming service:

“YouTube TV.”

The weirdest endorsement deal he was pitched:

“There was a sunscreen company. I’m not gonna say the name, but, like sunscreen. They wanted me to do ads for them.”

Dream endorsement deal for the future:

“It might have to be Progressive Insurance, just because I like their commercials. One of those insurance companies. I would want to do one of those, for sure. Me and the lizard.”