52 Facts About Gary Payton


Gary Payton played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat.

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Gary Payton is the first point guard to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, and the only point guard winner in the award's first 39 years, until Marcus Smart was selected in 2022.

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Gary Payton was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, an NBA record he shares with Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant.

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Gary Payton was a nine-time NBA All-Star and a nine-time All-NBA Team member.

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Gary Payton was called "probably as complete a guard as there ever was" by Basketball Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich.

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Gary Payton's father encouraged him to focus on school, and he was allowed to play again.

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Gary Payton was a consensus All-American, a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, and both the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and conference Freshman of the Year in 1987.

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Gary Payton was the MVP of the Far West Classic tournament three times, the Pac-10 Player of the Week nine times, and named to the Pac-10's All-Decade Team.

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At the time of his graduation, Gary Payton held the school record for points, field goals, three-point field goals, assists, and steals – all of which he still holds today except for career points and three-point field goals.

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Gary Payton was the second overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics.

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On February 23,1991, Gary Payton recorded his first career triple-double after recording 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in a losing effort to the Suns.

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The following game, Gary Payton scored only 2 points but dished out 16 assists, a then career-high for him.

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Gary Payton joined Slick Watts and Nate McMillan as the only SuperSonics' players to have dished out 16 or more assists in his rookie season.

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Gary Payton scored a season-high 22 points to go along with 7 assists in road win over the Bullets back in November 19,1991.

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Gary Payton earned his first of 9 consecutive All-NBA team selections when he was chosen to the All-NBA Third team in 1994.

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Gary Payton would go on to make the All-NBA First-Team in 1998 and 2000, All-NBA Second Team in 1995,1996,1997,1999, and 2002, and All-NBA Third Team in 1994 and 2001.

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Gary Payton was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team a record nine consecutive seasons, and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1996, the first point guard to win the award.

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Gary Payton has been selected to the NBA All-Star Team nine times and was voted as a starter in 1997 and 1998.

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Gary Payton was a member of the gold medal-winning 1996 and 2000 US Men's Olympic Basketball Teams.

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Gary Payton feuded with Howard Schultz, who bought the SuperSonics in 2001.

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When Gary Payton did not attend the first day of training camp in 2002, Schultz decided to trade Gary Payton.

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Gary Payton played the remaining 28 games with the Bucks, averaging 19.

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On February 24,2005, Gary Payton was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in a deal that brought former Celtic Antoine Walker back to Boston.

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The Hawks then waived Gary Payton immediately following the trade, and he returned a week later to Boston as a free agent.

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Gary Payton started all 77 games he played for Boston and averaged 11.

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In Game 4 of the semifinals against the New Jersey Nets, Gary Payton hit a critical three-pointer with 56 seconds left in the game to clinch the Heat victory.

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In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on the road against the Detroit Pistons, Gary Payton scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, helping the Heat set the tone in the series.

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In Game 5, Gary Payton scored 8 points, including Miami's final field goal with 29 seconds left, to help clinch a one-point victory.

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On September 6,2006, the 38-year-old Gary Payton re-signed with the defending champion Miami Heat on a one-year, $1.

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However, Gary Payton became much less volatile in his later years, and many players, including Shaquille O'Neal and Antoine Walker, have greatly enjoyed playing with Gary Payton.

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Gary Payton has appeared in many movies and television shows, and in 2001, gave a humorous, televised "motivational speech" to his team during the NBA All-Star Game.

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Since Gary Payton's career ended in 2007, he has been mentioned among the all-time greatest point guards.

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Gary Payton was the only guard to have won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award since Michael Jordan in 1988, until Marcus Smart received the award in 2022.

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Gary Payton is considered one of the best defensive opponents of Michael Jordan, and the two players had a high-profile rivalry that culminated in the 1996 NBA Finals.

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Jordan and Gary Payton have both won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award and despite their different positions, they were well matched for other reasons.

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Sonics won that game by 21 points and Gary Payton held Jordan to 26 points – Jordan's second-lowest-scoring Finals game in his career up to that point.

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In Game 6, which the Bulls would win to capture the Championship, Gary Payton played 47 minutes and Jordan missed 14 of his 19 shots, getting a career Finals low 22 points.

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Gary Payton has missed only two games in 10 seasons and is generally counted on for nearly a full game's worth of nonstop motion, despite chronic back pain that requires extensive stretching and regular applications of heating packs.

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Gary Payton II has played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Wizards, and the Golden State Warriors, where he won his first NBA Championship.

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Gary Payton is cross-dominant: he was a natural left-handed player who shot with his right hand.

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In 2013, Gary Payton was named an analyst for Fox Sports 1's Fox Sports Live.

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Gary Payton has appeared in Eddie, Like Mike, The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, and performed a speaking role in the 1999 comedy film The Breaks.

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Gary Payton has made numerous well-regarded contributions of both time and money to the community.

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Gary Payton set up The Gary Payton Foundation in 1996 to provide safe places for recreational activity, and to help underprivileged youth in his hometown of Oakland stay in school.

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Gary Payton gave back to the East Oakland Youth Development Center, a youth center that he attended in Oakland when he was growing up.

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In 2001, Gary Payton donated $100,000 to renovate EOYDC's gym – his first big grant in his hometown of Oakland.

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In July 1999, Gary Payton was named to The Sporting News' "Good Guys in Sports" list.

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Gary Payton hosted a radio show in early 1998 on Seattle's KUBE 93.

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Gary Payton played hip-hop including The Roots, Raekwon, Outkast, and Cam'ron.

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Since the Sonics' move to Oklahoma City, Gary Payton has openly expressed his desire not to have his retired jersey number in Oklahoma City as part of that team's history.

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Gary Payton is featured in the documentary Sonicsgate, which covers the team's relocation from Seattle to Oklahoma City.

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Gary Payton is currently working on bringing the NBA back to Seattle, aligning himself with the Oak View Group.

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