Jaden Ivey hasn’t been a member of the Detroit Pistons for long, but already, he’s been getting the red carpet treatment in a big way coming to the city.
Ivey’s Detroit roots have been a big topic of conversation for fans since his selection, and everyone seems excited to welcome the young star into the mix for the team. That’s true even if you’re Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders.
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Sanders is a huge sports fan and knows his sports well. He keeps a keen eye on what goes on in his city, and when he saw Ivey get picked up, he knew he had to chime in. Sanders knew former Lions cornerback James Hunter, Ivey’s late grandfather, and took time to send along his best wishes after the draft as well as welcome Ivey to town.
“Congrats to all NBA draftees, but a special welcome home to Jaden Ivey & congrats to Detroit Pistons on a great draft. I knew your grandfather James Hunter & I know he would be proud of you. Can’t wait to see you in action this season. #Detroit,” Sanders tweeted.
It’s a very special welcome to town from a very special player and person in Sanders. The personal touch is always special to see, and Sanders provided a nice touch with regards to this in his message.
Ivey Praised Sanders After Personal Tweet
For a young player like Ivey, it had to be a moment he felt like pinching himself getting the royal Detroit welcome from Sanders, one of the true titans in sports and his field. Such a dynamic could leave a player lost for words, but Ivey offered up the perfect retort to Sanders in the moments after seeing his tweet.
As Ivey wrote very simply, Sanders is the O.G. There’s no doubting the fact that Lions fans will agree with his sentiments on that one.
No matter the age or generation, players know how big it is to get respect from Sanders, and Ivey has a special connection with his new fan already.
Ivey Also Shouted out Grandpa Following Draft
It’s impossible for folks not to think of Hunter as well as Ivey, and the youngster was clearly on the same page as Sanders in pondering the feelings his late grandpa would have on draft night. Right after the draft, Ivey hopped on Twitter to not only share his excitement with coming to Detroit, but also, gave a nod to his family as well. As he said, he knows his grandfather is happy with him making it in the draft, possibly even in the city he starred in as well.
“Grandpa I did it man, Ik you upstairs smiling rn, this for you #RIPGRANDPA,” Ivey tweeted.
As a player, Hunter himself was no slouch on the field. Statistically, he was solid, piling up 279 tackles, 27 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries and 4 sacks. Hunter also played in 86 games with 77 starts, showing he was the kind of player that could be depended on for the big play. As the Lions pointed out, Hunter’s 27 interceptions ranks seventh in team history at this point in time, showcasing what a playmaker he was on the field for the team. Collegiately, he attended Grambling. Hunter passed away at the age of 56 in 2010.
Obviously, it’s special for Ivey to come back to Detroit given all his family ties. Already, he’s getting a big welcome from arguably the biggest star to ever play in town lately.
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