On Thursday, Adidas announced that they signed the top-five prospect Jalen Green to a multi-year shoe contract before the 2021 NBA Draft.
The news was first reported by ESPN’s Nick DePaula last month. Green is the first known prospect in the 2021 draft class to sign with a clothing company. He joins an Adidas basketball squad that includes James Harden, Candace Parker, Damian Lillard, Chiney Ogwumike, Anthony Edwards, and Liz Cambage.
“Adidas has been a part of my life for a while now, and when the opportunity arose to join the brand leading up to my rookie year, I thought, why not join the family?” Green said in a statement. “They’ve always accepted me as family and shown love.
“On the court, I’m going to bring excitement and a winning mentality to the next level. If you lock in and watch me play, you’ll see my competitive edge. And back in Fresno, I want the kids who are watching me there to know that they can do it too.”
Head of this year’s upcoming draft, Green has been training with the legendary Mark Edwards, also known as Sifu. He is responsible for helping put over 300 scholarship athletes over the last 26 years, and his motto is “More Than 25 years No Air Balls.”
The projected number one pick in July’s draft is Cade Cunningham out of Oklahoma State University, but passing on Green will be a mistake if you ask Edward.
“I mean athletically, the only two people I have seen in his category are Michael Jordan, whom I saw his rookie year in the Garden. I had front row seats under the basket, and I watched this man move, and it did not make sense. [The other guy] is LeBron James. I have seen these two guys up close and personal. They are the only two guys I have seen who move like Jalen, run, and jump like him,” said Edwards.
“This is a guy who is ready. He shot 37 percent from the NBA three-point line and is someone that is going to come into the league and drop over 20 points a game no matter what team he plays on because he is a dog. He did most of that just being raw and talented. Now, he has the talent with the work ethic and desire. He wants to be great; he does not want to be the next Michael, LeBron James, Zach LaVine, and Devin Booker; he wants to be Jalen Green. So, for me, that is an amazing thought.”
The 19-year-old averaged 17.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.5 assists in 15 games last season to lead the NBA G League Ignite in its inaugural season.