Gary Payton: NBA’s Best Point Guard of All Time
Like many other sports, there are only two ways on how one can play in the basketball: offensively or defensively.
Offensive is when players make scores better than their opponents’ best defense while defensive is when a team prevents the opposing team from scoring as much as possible.
While it is statistically impossible for any team to be either full offensive or full defensive in the sport, there are, however, players that are good in either two, they literally are hailed as the best in either aspect.
Speaking of a great defensive player, none probably among recent players compare to Gary Payton, the highly-acclaimed best point guard of all time and the only point guard to ever earn the award as Defensive Player of the Year.
Other noteworthy recognitions given to Payton include, “reigning high scorer among point guards” and “as complete a guard as there ever was,” according to Basketball Hall of Famer, Gail Goodrich.
Yet, even before Gary Payton earned all his accolades and nickname, The Glove, due to his prolific defensive plays as a point guard, Gary, too, was an aspiring kid who learned to play the sport at a young age.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, Payton studied at his hometown’s secondary education school, Skyline High School.
Proceeding into higher education at college, Gary Payton chose the Oregon State University to which he is a schoolmate to another future NBA player, Greg Foster.
Unlike his high school days which was fraught with failing academics, Payton’s college career is blooming and was even regarded as among his university’s most decorated basketball player in its history.
In 1990, then a senior year at college, Gary was featured in Sports Illustrated as the country’s best college basketball player.
Later in the 1990, the graduate student from Oregon State University debuted his professional career after having been drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics where he spent 12 and a half seasons with.
Alone a formidable defensive player, Gary Payton’s tandem with Shawn Kemp—the so-called “Sonic Boom” duo—made both players an exciting in the playing court.
It is during his lengthy stay with the SuperSonics that Payton made a 9-time All-NBA team selection streak.
Midway through the 2002-03 season, Payton was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks where he spent his 28 games with.
Along with fellow player Kar Malone, Gary Payton, then an unrestricted free agent, moved to Los Angeles Lakers which they both contributed in bringing to its first championship.
Despite relatively good performance with the Lakers, Payton has seen himself being moved to another club again resulting from a trade with the Boston Celtics, much to his displeasure.
Payton spent his last two season with yet another club—this time, the Miami Heat—where he made a climb on the NBA All-Time list from 17th to 8th in ranking. He even broke the record of both Hal Greer and Larry Bird in scoring record, making him the 21st highest-scoring in NBA history.
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