The man not only walked the walk, but he talked the talk. Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, Gary Payton was one of the NBA’s best overall defenders and scoring point guards throughout his 17 years in the league, which included an NBA Championship in 2006.
Known as “The Glove”, Payton was never afraid to talk trash to his opponents and back it up on the other end too. He is one of only four players selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team 9 times (Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant), was a 9 time NBA All-Star, and an All-NBA team member 9 times. A native of Oakland, California, Payton played college basketball at Oregon State University where he was named Pac-10 All-American and Player of the Year in 1990, before being drafted (2nd overall) by the Seattle Supersonics in 1990.
Payton starred alongside the explosive Shawn Kemp and helped lead the Sonics to the NBA Finals in 1996 before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2003. Following his lone season with the Bucks, “GP” played for the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat, where he finished his legendary career in 2006 by capturing a championship. Payton was also a key player for Team USA in international competition, winning 3 Gold Medals – 2 Olympics and 1 FIBA Americas Championship.
Pro Career: Seattle Supersonics (1990-2003), Milwaukee Bucks (2003), Los Angeles Lakers (2003-04), Boston Celtics (2004-05), Miami Heat (2005-07)
Career Highlights & Awards:
- NBA Champion (2006)
- 9-time All-Star
- 2-time All-NBA First Team
- 5-time All-NBA Second Team
- 2-time All-NBA Third Team
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1996)
- NBA steals leader (1996)
- Pac-10 Player of the Year (1990)
- No. 20 retired at Oregon State
Post-Pro Career: Since finishing his career, Gary Payton has served as a studio analyst with NBA TV, the NBA on TNT and Fox Sports and remains a strong advocate about having an NBA return to Seattle.
- Gary Payton and Walt “Clyde” Frazier are the only two-point guards to be selected to more than 5 NBA All-Defensive First Teams (9 and 7, respectively), and two of only four players who were selected to 5 or more All-Defensive teams without ever being on an All-Defensive 2nd team (Michael Jordan and Dave DeBusschere).
- Payton has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times.
- The Seattle Mayor’s Office declared June 6, 2000 as “Gary Payton Day”