Gary Payton recalls how he injured Horace Grant, trying to beat Vernon Maxwell

gary-payton-foxFOX Sports 1 anchor Mike Hill kicked off his debut episode of Keepin’ It Real with our very own Gary Payton. Former NBA star tackled a number of topics in their sitdown.

Payton was asked to speak openly, and the first question he was asked was if he uses his recently acquired Hall of Fame status. Payton was quick to reply that he never really uses it.

“I never use that, really. Everybody knows who I am. I never do that,” Payton said. “They know the face, they know the name.”

When Payton was asked who to blame for the loss of the LA Lakers back in 2004 in the NBA finals, Payton said “everybody.”

Regarding his fight with Vernon Maxwell in Seattle, Payton explained how it all went down.

“This is how it went down. We’re at the practice, we’re having a bad practice, and we just lost 2-3 games in a row,” Payton said. “So we’re playing, and Vernon was on the second team, and Brent (Barry) was starting with me. And Brent was getting punked by Maxwell.”

“So I said – let’s switch. Then Maxwell tried to do the same to me. I told him – we’re going cut this practice and I am gonna beat you up in the locker room. He kept it going, and thought I forgot…,” Payton recalled. “So I went to the locker room and I waited for him.”

“So I went to the locker room and I waited for him. and I didn’t want to hurt my beautiful hands, so I took some weight with me. I had this weight in my hand and I was waiting for him there, then Horace Grant comes over, steps in and I accidentally hit him in the head with this weight, busted his head open,” Payton said. “Horace was out for one game because of this, and I felt bad about it.”

Payton went on to say that it took him and Maxwell three months to forget about the incident and become friends again.

Speaking about how often players get mad when he criticizes them, Payton said he doesn’t really care if they do.

“It was once, Kevin Garnett got once mad at me because I criticized Rajon Rondo. I just said what I wanted to say, and it was over,” Payton said, explaining how he handled it.

Payton then spoke of Shawn Kemp, and said that the reason for Kemp having so many kids is because “he didn’t want to use condoms at the time”. Payton was quick to add that Kemp is a good father to his children.

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.

It should be noted that Payton’s son, Gary Payton II, is set to commit to play basketball at Oregon State, his father’s alma mater, according to the Seth Prince of The Oregonian. He is expected to sign his letter of intent this weekend.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Payton, nicknamed “The Mitten,” chose the Beavers over Utah, St. Mary’s, and Seton Hall.

Payton II, a sophomore at Salt Lake Community College, visited Oregon State last month.  Payton, 20, is averaging 9.4 points and 6.8 rebounds and almost two assists per game this season.


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