Gary Payton is one of the legendary names from the 1990s. Not only was the Glove exciting on the offensive end, but he could lock down the other team’s star on the defensive end. All the while talking trash and sporting his fly signature kicks.
Set Free wants to start by talking about GP’s game. He sees similarities between GP’s game and that of New York ballers. What makes it that Oakland ballers play like New York ballers? GP says it’s about the attitude. He says all point guards from Oakland have an attitude, a chip on their shoulder. It’s why he says he got along so well with Rod Strickland, who was from the Bronx. They played in a similar way, not backing down from anybody. And that, Gary says, is what New York and Oakland guards are all about — not backing down, not taking any mess. The Glove says when he was in the league he didn’t care who you were, so he wouldn’t back down from anybody and he had the confidence to talk trash to anybody.
GP says going from Oregon State, despite ALMOST going to St.John’s, to Seattle was a great move for him because he was already used to the Pacific Northwest and the constant rain. The Glove says he was basically just moving down the street and already had a fanbase already in place. He says Seattle was on the come up and they just needed a superstar. So they began coming to his games and said they were going to find a way to get GP. Then fate intervened when Seattle, despite just an 18 percent chance, wound up with the No. 2 pick and prime position to draft The Glove. Gary said he received such a warm welcome upon joining the Sonics and he still gets that warm welcome to this day, whether it be at Seahawks, Kraken, Storm or even Mariners games. Seattle still rocks with The Glove and the feeling is mutual. GP is already looking forward to potential return of pro basketball in Seattle, and he says a lot of people — including players — are looking forward to the return of the Sonics, too.
Set Free has to ask Gary about the shoes. It’s gotta be the shoes, right? What was it like getting a signature Glove sneaker from Nike? That’s when GP says he knew he made it.
Going back to the Sonic Boom era, Gary says people talk about Lob City with the Clips, before before there was Lob City there was the Sonic Boom with The Glove and the Reignman, Shawn Kemp. Gary says when he and Shawn got together it was all about brotherhood. He says they started hanging out together from Day 1. Gary say he told Kemp that when he was pressuring the ball and was about to make the steal, because of course he was going to get the steal, he wanted Kemp just to start taking off running. Gary said as soon as he got the steal it was only going to take him two dribbles with Kemp sprinting down the court to set up the alley oop. The Glove was going to throw it up and Kemp was going to throw it down.
For more of the conversation with Gary Payton check out the full interview below. For more of The Starting Five, you can tune in every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings Network on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Xumo Play, Google TV or here on DraftKingsNetwork.com! Learn more about how to watch here.
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