He’s not Gary Payton.  But He Is Not Him.

He’s not Gary Payton. But He Is Not Him.

BOSTON – It’s not uncommon for NBA players to bring their children to interviews while answering questions and have their little ones sit on their laps or in a seat next to them.

Gary Payton, one of the best defenders of the 1990s, did just that when he was playing. In one interview, while holding young Gary Payton II in his arms, he was asked about his son’s potential future as a basketball player.

“I hope he grows up the way he wants to be, but I won’t force him to be a ball player,” Payton said. in the video. “She is OK. He is around basketball, throwing the ball and doing everything. ”

Elder Payton then hit his son on the chest, and the boy raised his head and looked at him.

Gary Payton II loves to see such pictures. He was there before training with the Golden State in Boston this week showed a photo In another interview, he said he had a picture of his father sitting on his lap and the two of them liked it the most.

He recalled that his father ran on the court during training while playing in the NBA championships. The year Payton the Great first reached the finals with the Seattle SuperSonics, in 1996, his son was 3 1/2 years old and not old enough to understand the significance of what was happening.

Nearly thirty years later, Gary Payton II, 29, plays in NBA finals and is an important part of the Golden State defense. He made his final debut in Game 2, returning to court in an important game for the Warriors, trying not to fall behind in either of the two games. Payton returned after losing a full month with an elbow fracture. On his return, he made it clear that he was important.

“It was amazing,” Payton said. “I was itching to get out. I was in the tunnel, just walking back and forth, walking and waiting for the coach to call me. ”

The Warriors’ medical staff cleared Payton for Game 1, but coach Steve Kerr decided not to play Payton, saying he didn’t think Payton was healthy enough yet. He would use Payton only when necessary.

“In special situations, at the end of the game, at the end of the quarter, we need a stop, let’s play with him,” Kerr said.

Kerr called Payton 5 minutes 30 seconds before the end of the first quarter, and as Payton ran towards the scorer’s table, fans at the Chase Center in San Francisco initially responded with applause and applause. Finally, they stood up to applaud him.

Defender Jordan Poole said, “I think the energy he brings, the character, how hard he plays, especially in the Bay Area, we really accept that and we accept that.” He added: “They just embrace him because of his style of play and who he is as a person, and it makes it so much easier to do that.”

His journey is part of what attracts both fans and teammates. Despite having his father in the Hall of Fame, he had to make his way into the NBA. He left Oregon in 2016 and has since played for six different G-League teams. Seeing him play on a 10-day deal at the end of 2020-21 this season, the Golden State gave Payton a chance to stay on a one-year deal.

Returning to the Golden State competitive form, Payton felt like a defender all season. He started 16 regular season games and the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals against Memphis.

In Game 2 of the series, Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks broke Payton’s elbow when he slipped his head in the air. Foul was clearly considered 2, and this led to the automatic removal of the Books. Kerr called the play “dirty.”

However, Payton was able to stay in shape and work on the air conditioner, even though his elbow healed due to an injury to his upper body.

“I wasn’t off the field, but it was probably a week or more for everything to heal, and then I came back, I rode my bike, I ran, I did water work,” Payton said. “My air conditioning was still good. The game is still a little different. Last night, I took my second breath for the first few minutes and was fine after that. ”

He played 25 minutes in the first final and scored 7 points. Despite some concerns about his shooting ability, he hit all three shots, including the 3rd.

“I thought it was bright,” Kerr said. “The level of defense, the physicality and the speed in the transition, it gives us a big boost.”

Payton’s father was also known for his defensive ability – he was one of the few defenders to be named Defensive Player of the Year in 1995-96 – but the young Payton said he had not learned to focus more on defense than attack. .

“It was the only way to get the ball and build the game at the end of the attack,” Payton said. “I had to take the ball, steal it or score a goal.”

His father comes to the games to support him. He even wore a T-shirt that showed his son protecting him in Game 2. It wasn’t a career that pushed 53-year-old Payton’s son, and basketball advice is no longer part of their relationship – no advice to get to the finals and no question about how it could be.

“It’s just me and Gary. That’s our relationship,” said Gary Payton II. “For a moment, he stopped talking to me about basketball. I think this is due to the fact that I work better than before.

“It simply came to our notice then. We just talk about life, family, other sports and other things. But he stopped talking about basketball, so I’m doing a very good job. “

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