Over the past decade, Duke players have been synonymous with the NBA Draft. With the exception of 2010, there was been a Dukie walking up to the draft stage to shake the Commissioner’s hand. This year will keep the streak going with Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett slated to be two of first three names to be called, but right on their heels is Cam Reddish, who projects to be a smooth-scoring swingman in the NBA. Just two years removed from his draft moment was Jayson Tatum, who was the third overall selection in 2017. These two Dukies share the Durham bond, and they both also shared some thoughts about the draft (in Reddish’s case, about what will be his draft) during a New Era (who is the official cap provider of the NBA Draft) event at the NBA Store.
As a kid, did you ever rehearse the moment, like in front of a mirror or on video, where you imagined yourself walking out on that stage and shaking the commissioners hand?
Cam Reddish: I never was in the mirror, but you know, I imagined it for a long time.
Jayson Tatum: Yeah so it was all I dreamed about growing up, the iconic moment of putting the New Era hat on, getting at your new team, starting a new journey in your career in life. It was the second best day of my life after my son was born, but second best day ever.
So Cam, you obviously you have a great head of hair, but tell me what you’ll do when Adam Silver calls your name, you put on that draft cap, you’re about to walk out on that stage and the cap doesn’t fit?
Cam: It’s fittin now. I’m looking forward to officially putting me that New Era hat. I’m really looking forward to it, it should be a ton of fun.
What were some of your favorite NBA caps that you rocked growing up?
Cam: For me, I had a Sixers hat, obviously Im from the Philadelphia area so I know I had one laying around the house.
Jayson: My favorite NBA cap was a Lakers hat, Chicago hat cause that was the closest city to St Louis so I had a couple Chicago hats.
Would and did you wear a hat of another team after getting drafted?
Cam: Nah, I’ll probably just rock the team hat that I’m drafted to.
Jayson: Oh, no no no no no—only Celtics hats. Celtics for life.
Fitted or snapbacks?
Jayson: I’m more of a snapback guy. I used to see my dad wearing fitteds and he’s an older guy. I don’t wanna be like him. Now I wear dad hats cause I’m a dad.
Cam: Snapbacks, it’s more of my style.
Jayson, you’re one of the first players to rock the Nike Adapt BB, Nike’s self-tying shoe. What sort of technology would you like to see incorporated into a cap?
Jayson: You know, one day if they could build a hat that is custom fit that would not lace but auto cushion—I don’t know the word I’m looking for but everybody got different size heads, I got a kinda big head so finding a hat that fits right.
What are you planning on doing with your NBA cap after tonight?
Cam: I’ll probably frame it somewhere and give it to my little brother. I haven’t really decided yet.
Jayson, what did you do with yours?
Jayson: It’s sitting on my shelf, I’ll keep that hat for the rest of my life.
What about the draft suit?
Jayson: Still got the suit, still got my underwear from that day, watch, everything.
Even the underwear—have you worn those since?
Jayson: [laughs] Nope, but they (underwear) brought me good luck though, I might need to.”
Cam, what if your draft cap clashes with your draft suit?
Cam: It’s all good, I feel like it’ll work out. I mean New Era has a phenomenal style so either way—its going to look good.
Who’s gonna have the strongest drip game out of the Duke draftees tomorrow night?
Cam: I guess we’ll have to find out.
Will you be nervous about tripping while walking out on to the draft stage?
Cam: I’ve actually thought about that before, but I’m not too worried about it. If something happened, I’d just get up, keep walking and keep it moving.
Jayson, did that go through your mind two years ago?
Jayson: No, I’m too cool to trip, I wouldn’t worry about that.
Who was/will be the first person you hug after they announce your name?
Cam: My mom. I’d say I appreciate everything she’s done for me and my family and I love her to death.
Jayson: My mom, my best friend, she’s been with me every step of the way. I almost started crying cause I hugged her for a long time, cause it was more like we did it and she helped me get there so it was a big moment for both of us. I said, “I love you mom and thank you for everything.”