Deandre Ayton just finished his second year helping Phoenix go 8-0 in NBA restart “seeding” games in the Orlando Bubble.
It’s been an interesting two seasons for Ayton, the top overall pick in the 2018 draft after a one-and-done year at Arizona. He’s averaging a double-double for his career – 17 points and 10.7 rebounds – but also served a 25-game suspension for testing positive for a diuretic after the 2019-20 season opener.
He was Phoenix’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder in the seeding games but didn’t start against Oklahoma City after missing a COVID-19 testing window last week.
Before his rookie year began, Ayton filmed an episode for Netflix’s “Droppin’ Cash Los Angeles” that’s featured fellow NBA players Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee and Josh Hart along with celebrities and entertainers.
The episode aired last August before the 2019-20 season.
“DA ain’t afraid to drop some cash cause I’m going to earn it right back,” Ayton said in the episode before his rookie season.
The 25-game suspension cost him roughly $2 million as he was suspended without pay. A year earlier, Ayton spent $7,489.35 on the Droppin Cash episode on the following:
- Two Robert Stanley “Red Label” custom suits at $2,200 each.
- Nine ties.
- Nine pocket squares.
- Four custom shirts
- One belt.
- One pair of cuff links.
“Let’s drop some cash,” said stylist Ian Firestone of Malibu Clothes in the episode.
After being rung up, Ayton said, “If that what it costs to look great in the NBA, I’m all in at all costs.”
Ayton said in the episode he wanted his style to be like Michael Jordan in terms of looking like a professional.
“You want to be a gangster in a suit, you want to be a baller in a suit,” Ayton said.
He tried on a light blue suit, a white shirt and red polka-dot tie and pocket square – and ends up dancing in it.
“Man, that’s crazy,” Ayton said.
Firestone then switched out the red tie and pocket square with yellow and light blue polka-dot tie as Ayton had a goal of wearing “all bright colors” his rookie season.
“Trying to look nice and classy,” Ayton said.
The episode began with Ayton working on his jump shot with his trainer, Rasheed Hazzard, at the Los Angeles Athletic Club in downtown L.A.
Hazzard trained the late, great Kobe Bryant.
“The killer is already in us,” Ayton said. “He’s just polishing it up a little bit. Making it a little shinier to represent.”
The episode showed Ayton working on his 3-point shot, something he’s continued to do and is now comfortable enough within the offense to take.
He hit his first 3 of his NBA career in the bubble.
In the episode, Ayton was also working on his ball handling, another skill he hopes to utilize in the future. At this point, he was still in reflecting on being the top overall pick in the 2018 draft for his team of choice.
“When they had the first pick in the lottery, it was just insane,” Ayton said. “Of course I was confident, but when you actually hear your name, and you’re actually there, it was just speechless, priceless. I just wanted to play for Phoenix, but I was going for the No. 1 pick. So when they had the first pick in the lottery, it was just insane.”
After the workout, Ayton went to meet Firestone. While riding in the backseat of the car, Ayton talked being in awe about his three-year rookie deal for $27.7 million.
“I’m looking at all the numbers and I’m like, damn,” Ayton said. “I’m just amped up seeing all the commas so I’m like, this is the real deal. This is the league. This is league money and it’s about time I started getting paid for my talents.”
Ayton revealed that hip-hop artist Drake was the first person to text him on draft day.
“He texted me at 7:25 a.m., saying ‘Good luck today broski,'” said Ayton, who recalls staying up all night playing Fortnite and being filled with anxiety. “That’s just insane.”
Ayton talked about his first purchase of buying his mom a house.
“She’s the queen that deserves to be in a castle so I bought her a castle,” Ayton said.
Ayton also made it clear his “biggest” goal was to “earn that second contract” and win as many games as possible.
He addressed “the haters,” saying being called a bust is the “biggest motivation” for him.
The episode continues with him on trying clothes and buying them.
After making the $7,000 purchase in a penthouse that cost $25,000 a night, Ayton said, “I’m going to give you guys the honor of escorting you out of here” as he puts his hand over the camera and says, “bye-bye.”
Have an opinion about the current state of the Suns? Reach Suns Insider Duane Rankin at [email protected] or contact him at 480-787-1240. Follow him on Twitter at @DuaneRankin.
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