The history of New Orleans is one of resiliency and so is the story of Elfrid Payton. Unlike most NBA lottery picks Elfrid wasn’t sifting through stacks of offer letters from power conference schools upon graduating high school. But all he needed was one opportunity which came in the form of a phone call from the University of Louisiana Lafayette just a 3-hour drive north of New Orleans. Elfrid quickly put his foot on the pedal leading the Ragin’ Cajuns to some of the best seasons in school history. By his junior season, Elfrid opened the eyes of many NBA scouts through his tenacious defense and pure point guard abilities. Elfrid reaped the fruits of his labor the following year as the 10th overall pick of the Orlando Magic in the 2014 NBA draft. Since then Elfrid has carved out a solid NBA career, playing for 4 different organizations over his 8-year career including a stint as a hometown hero playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. We caught up with Elfrid to talk a little bit about his hometown of New Orleans and his upcoming collaboration with New Era.
What area of New Orleans did you grow up in?
Elfrid Payton: I’m from Gretna so the Westbank of New Orleans.
You’re always rocking a fitted hat. When did that start for you? How many hats are in your collection?
Elfrid Payton: Yea I started rocking fitted’s when I cut my hair so about a lil' over 3 years ago. And a lot probably over 30. I’ve lost and given a few away too.
What was the inspiration behind the design of your new era hat? How did the process come about?
Elfrid Payton: Well honestly some friends told me I should make a hat. And initially I kind of just laughed it off, but then I started thinking about it & I figured why not? I have some good friends at Politics that would help bring that to life.
How would you describe Mardi Gras to someone who has never been before?
Elfrid Payton: To someone who doesn’t know I would probably say a big block party with family and friends. Where you can drink, eat good food, listen to music & just have a good time from sun up to sundown. Then I guess I’d try to explain the floats, people throwing beads, coconuts, etc. And the bands.
How does it feel to have a collaboration with New Era?
Elfrid Payton: It feels good. I like what we were able to do. (Except the one part we stopped) I think it’s a good first hat... and It’s not just about me, it’s also something for the city.
Should we expect more EP signature hats in the future?
Elfrid Payton: And yes, definitely gonna do at least one more!
This hat will be available online + at all locations on Tuesday, 2/15. Be on the lookout for something special at our New Orleans Decatur location.