With all do respect to fellow 2013 inductees NY Knicks legend Bernard King, International superstar Oscar Schmidt, and 2 time NCAA Champion coach Rick Pitino, it was Payton whom everyone wanted to here from most as the highlight of the evening.
Using his now well known gift of gab, GP told several interesting stories, while reading off his Ipad, that helped us more to understand his long journey that took him from the mean streets of Oakland, California, to Oregon State University, then to the Seattle Supersonics, where he became a household name as not only the NBA’s premier defensive player, but arguably the most complete floor general of his era.
While he may not be on the tip of your tongue when quickly compiling the Top 10 point guards of all time, he made life a living hell for opposing guards as they new they were in for 48 minutes of ball-hawking defense, along with having to guard a proven scorer(21,000 career points), as well as getting an earful, as Payton was the undisputed king of the trash talk.
And if you didn’t already know, he would surely tell you. Superstar players of the early 90’s and into the 2000’s like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Kobe Bryant all would agree that Payton could not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as he remains the only point guard to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award.
Although many consider Gary a ring-chaser late in his career, by playing for 4 teams over his final 5 seasons, finally getting a chip alongside Shaquille O’Neal and an emerging Dwyane Wade on the ’06 Heat, GP was also a 9 time All NBA Team performer, won 2 gold medals in Olympic competition, and has one of the coolest nicknames of all time, known as “The Glove.”
Check out his entertaining HOF induction speech where he once again reiterates that John Stockton and not Michael Jordan was his most difficult player to guard, announced that he and Shawn Kemp were the original “Lob City”, and brazenly announced that he was the greatest trash talker of all time……..
Gary Payton’s 2013 HOF Induction Speech:
Gary Payton’s Top 10 Career Moments:
Allen Moll has been a lifelong NBA and NCAA College Basketball fan who watches and studies games religiously, and coaches youth basketball in his native Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania. Allen has also provided content to Bleacherreport.com, Upperdeckblog.com, Cleveland.com, CSN Philly.com, Buckets Magazine, in addition to being a tenured NBA and NCAA columnist for TheHoopDoctors.com.