Gary Payton gets ready to play against Yao Ming


basketballerEx-NBA star, Supersonics legend Gary Payton is getting ready to play against 7’5 Yao Ming at the Venetian® Macao’s CotaiArena™ May 1 for the 2013 Venetian Macao All-Star Challenge.

“Out here at the Venetian in Macao charity event with Yao Ming. Should be a lot of fun,” Payton tweeted recently.

Payton and Yao will coach two teams that will go head to head, as part of the All-Star challenge. Teams feature former NBA players.

Gary Payton’s team includes ex-NBA players Rafer Alston, Horace Grant and Jason Williams, joined by dunking phenom Anthony Pimble and celebrities Alex Fong, Alien Huang, Godfrey Gao, Louis Cheung and Kelvin Kwan. Payton will both coach and play for his All-Star team.

Payton enjoyed a successful 17-year NBA career, and he’s best known for his 13-year tenure in Seattle, where he established himself as one of the best defensive point guards of all-time.

Payton played 1335 games in the NBA (1233 started), averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 assists over the course of his career.

He averaged over 20 points in seven of his 17 seasons, with his career-high average of 24.2 points coming in the 1999-2000 season.

The point guard reached three NBA Finals, appearing in one each for the Sonics, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Payton finally got that elusive first ring as a member of the 2005-06 Heat.

The Shanghai Sharks gained the CBA championship in 2002, led by Yao, who later bought the team in 2009. Yao will again lead his former team, this time as coach, for an entertaining sports-filled night May 1 at the CotaiArena, offering the public a great chance to see the retired eight-time NBA All-Star in person.

Yao played 8 years in the NBA – all for the Houston Rockets. He holds career averages of 19 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game, and 1.9 blocks per game.

Yao appeared in 486 NBA games (476 started), and was selected to the NBA All-Star team 8 times.

The matchup between the Sharks and the All-Stars will include a special guest appearance from Yao’s mentor, Hall of Famer Arvydas Sabonis. Special half-time performances will include dunking sensations Guy “Easy J” Dupuy, Anthony “Mr. Afrika” Pimble and Brandon “Werm” Lacue.

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