Thursday 18th January 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Gary Payton Considered Quitting Basketball as a Rookie

Sometimes we assume that just because a guy plays basketball for a living, that all is well in his life. Actually, sometimes money and fame can bring on more problems. But I know, let’s not feel sympathy for these millionaires.

But then, there are also doubts in your abilities. Gary Payton felt these doubts once upon a time and thought about quitting basketball as a rookie. Good thing he had a change of heart so that we were able to witness a world-class trash talker at his best.

“I was thinking about it,” Payton said in a phone conversation from his home in Las Vegas. “I was like, ‘What am I out here for? This isn’t even what I want to do. I’m not happy.’ I didn’t want to do anything….

“If we wouldn’t have changed coaches (from K.C. Jones to George Karl),” Payton said, “I would have probably said, ‘Yo, you know what? I want to end this. I don’t want to do this anymore because I’m not happy.’ If they would have stayed with the same coach, I would have probably just shut it down. They would have tried to trade me or I would have told them I don’t want to play there anymore.

“I went to my agent, I went to my father, I just said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m good enough to play in this league. I’ve got a coach who wants to play me in the first and the third quarter. He has no confidence in me.’ They told me the same thing. ‘You’ve got to stick it out. You’ve got to be the guy who you’re supposed to be. You’re tough. You’re this.’ My father was like, ‘Are you crazy? If you quit, I’m gonna get in your (body).’ Stuff like that.”


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  • Sir Mitch

    Who cares about Gary Payton,he talked as much S_ _ _t as he played,rode the wave of a championship behind Shaq and D-Wade,Hall of Famer,Check Please…..

    • Anklesnap

      Don’t short change him by only judging his game on the twilight years of his career. If you were old enough to watch him in his prime you’d recognize how great he really was. Aside from Iverson, Payton was on of the best little man players of our time.

      • Sir Mitch

        I don’t want to get in a verbal spat with you because it’s not really worth it,I don’t know u and u don’t know me,Born in 74 Dog,don’t short change me,I have watched plenty of basketball,played also,just my opinion…

        • Anklesnap

          True, everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just that you referenced one year at tail end of his career. Not sure why Heat years are even top of mind when it comes to Payton. Such a small piece of his career.

        • dchi

          One of the best defensive guards of all time