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Jordan Loyd
Jordan Loyd
Position: -
Born: 07/27/93
Height: 6-4 / 1.93
Weight:210 lbs. / 95.3 kg.
Earnings: $77,250 ($83,291*)
Hell, maybe Loyd’s name escapes you, because ESPN dubbed him the “random guy in a suit” in its highlight package of Leonard’s shot, which of course did ultimately splash the net and sink the 76ers. Loyd even had a shirt made for the Raptors’ championship parade that said, well, “random guy in a suit.” Today, Loyd, 27, is starring for Serbia’s KK Crvena Cvezda (in English, “Red Star”) in the EuroLeague. As of this writing, he is third in the league in scoring 17.0 points per game in 23 contests, and another 14.4 points in 13 games in the regional ABA league. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard is being recruited heavily by some of Europe’s top clubs for next season, and back home, NBA teams are taking notice.
Twice in the last year, in two different countries, Loyd has been in quarantine due to COVID-19, including in December and January when he wrestled with fever, chills and a loss of taste and smell in his Belgrade apartment, thousands of miles away from his family home in suburban Atlanta. Also somewhere in the U.S., though Loyd won’t say where, precisely, for fear someone might come looking for it, he has his 2019 NBA championship ring from the Raptors. He was the last member of that title team to see his ring, because he was in Spain until July 2020. At Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, he is featured prominently in a mural of Leonard’s miraculous shot. “People even message it to me on social media, like I haven’t seen it before,” Loyd said. So, how in the hell, exactly, did Loyd’s life take this path, from obscurity to NBA champion to where he is now? It started with a $240,000 buyout from his father.
As the ball left Leonard’s hand, Loyd didn’t think he’d make the shot. “I was like, ‘Man he’s not getting this off,’ because Joel Embiid was closing,” Loyd said. “Kawhi’s jump shot is usually pretty narrow. He doesn’t have the highest-arching jump shot. So that’s what I’m thinking, I’m going to this dead corner and I just hope he gets it off. And then once he shoots it, it’s like super high, I’m like OK, it’s higher than normal. And then I’ve always told people I thought Scotiabank has the hardest rims, basketball rims, ever. You don’t get a lot of bounces in these arenas, and then for that ball to bounce around like I don’t know how many times, and then fall in, was like, come on man. It was insane. I didn’t think it had a chance, and sure enough, I was in so much shock.”
It’s a photographer’s dream for the end of an NBA playoff game, one that decides who advances and whose season dies, to come down to a single shot, and have that shot bounce, so deliberately, and hang, so dramatically, on the rim. The expressions were priceless. Leonard in a full crouch, with his tongue out. Embiid with his mouth agape and eyes that said, “No way.” Raptors bench players, like Danny Green, in full-on stare. Fans, waiting to erupt. “All this stuff happening, and then you’ve got Jordan Loyd, just like in the front and center,” Loyd said. “Which I am not big on being, honestly, I prefer to be in the background, but that game was so crazy. I just had to watch the game. I was in a suit, I didn’t have any pressure, I’m just having fun watching the game, and then there we go with this picture, it’s just, it’s all she wrote after that.”