After two years in the G League, former Saint Mary’s star Jordan Ford is playing for the Sacramento Kings’ NBA Summer League team. He had the unique opportunity of play his first game in Sacramento where he became an icon as a standout at Folsom High School, playing for Mike Wall. Ford reflects on his journey, how chess helped develop patience and beating the top-ranked team in the country to reach the NCAA Tournament at Saint Mary’s. Ford came off the bench as a freshmen before getting a chance to shine. Over his last two years, Ford became a dominant scorer and came close to becoming the school’s career scoring leader. However, the COVID pandemic kept Saint Mary’s from the NCAA Tournament and kept Ford four points shy of the record. Over his time in the G-League, Ford has made strides and is clear on what it will take to make an NBA roster.
The Dave Lewis Show
Sacramento icon Jordan Ford takes his shot at the NBA
On getting to play with the Kings, Ford's hometown team: "It's amazing to have everything come back full circle. To be back in Sacramento it's crazy because as a professional, you don't exactly where you're gonna play. I've played in Greece; I've played down in L.A. For me to be back is such a super rare situation...I'm super blessed and grateful I can end up back in my hometown."
On working with Gary Radnich: "There's something he said when I first started that resonated with me and still does even today. He said if you want to make a niche in this market and if you want to be a presence in this market, you do something where you walk up to somebody and go 'name something that somebody did that you remembered.' And If they rattle off stuff then you've done your job."
"We've only had two NBA champions over the last twenty two years outside of the top ten in defensive rating. The Warriors were 11th in '17 and then it was the Lakers in '01. I believe they were 21st. So now you look at it and ironically the Celtics led the league in defensive rating and the other three remaining teams also in the top 10. Miami fourth, Golden State second and Dallas seventh. So it's true: offense sales tickets, defense wins championships and you've got a very cohesive connected unit. Excellent shell drill defense by the Celtics and you're right Dave when you switch you have less rotations to contend with. "
"It's never too late. My mind is set here. When I found out I was going to the (parole) board, I automatically said okay, you're going to get out the first time you go so let's start looking at your options. Okay, when you get out, you'll be 54. It's going to be a month before you're 55th birthday. That means you're going to have an opportunity to have a career in sports broadcasting. If you can make it happen, you can start at 55 and possibly go to 80-years-old, maybe 85.... so as long as your vision is good and your mind is sharp, you can have a job in sports broadcasting."
"For a number of years, you're lucky if you're even breaking even let alone making any money. I still remember saying 'yes' to high school sideline up in Sacramento for $125. So after I would drive there and back with the gas and whatever cheap fast food I was buying that day., I'd get ready in a Target of Bed Bath and Beyond bathroom.....and just having one more thing to put on the resume reel. One more practice because it's all about the reps."
On the Marvin Bagley controversy in Sacramento: "I think this will blow over myself, personally. They've got to rise above it and realize it's got to be about winning; not about the scuttlebutt or family innuendo...it's unfortunate. I talk to a lot of people and they don't think that players have really changed that much but perhaps the people around them and I think this is a reflection of that. "