Detroit Pistons: Why Jaden Ivey wears the number 23

Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons . (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Jaden Ivey #23 of the Detroit Pistons . (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Jaden Ivey of the Detroit Pistons sat down with FanSided’s own Mark Carman recently for an interview that covered a range of topics.

The most important was the status of Ivey’s ankle, which he says is good, which hopefully means he’ll be ready for the start of training camp without any restrictions.

Jaden Ivey also talked about his excitement about playing for the Detroit Pistons, his relationship with Cade Cunningham and whether he thinks he’s ready to make an impact as a rookie.

He did a great job of being diplomatic when asked about the possibility of being drafted by the Sacramento Kings, so Ivey is already well-versed in the art of politicking in the media.

But the most interesting part of the interview for me was when Ivey talked about his basketball influences growing up.

Detroit Pistons: Jaden Ivey and the number 23

Earlier in the offseason Jaden Ivey was asked about his All-Time top five, and while there were a couple of surprises, his number one and two were Michael Jordan and LeBron James, respectively, an opinion many people share.

So did he choose the number 23 because of LeBron or MJ?

When asked, Ivey named Michael Jordan as his biggest basketball influence:

"“I love LeBron, that’s one of the greatest players of all time… but growing up… I literally went on YouTube and watched Michael Jordan highlights, that was my thing. He’s the reason I wear 23, for sure.”"

Ivey then showed he’d done his research by listing Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals as his favorite Jordan game.

I do think Ivey’s game has some similarity to Jordan’s coming out of college, though Ivey is a bit shorter. But like Jordan, he has an explosive first step and the athleticism to get to the rim and finish in all manner of ways.

Ivey also has the length and motor to be a tenacious defender, an overlooked part of his game, which was also part of Jordan’s game that got lost in all of the highlight reel dunks and huge scoring numbers.

Ivey never got to see Jordan play live, so I find it fascinating that Jordan is the guy who he modeled his game after. Let’s hope Ivey has the same success wearing Jordan’s number, though this time it will be nice to see #23 playing for the Detroit Pistons instead of going to war with them in the Eastern Conference Finals.

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