Gary Payton says he’s interested in NBA coaching job


gary-payton-studioNBA great, Hall of Famer Gary Payton seems to be interested in trying himself at coaching in the NBA.

With Byron Scott officially the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, the attention turns to who will fill out his coaching staff.

A few candidates have already been mentioned like Robert Horry, Mark Madsen and Paul Pressey, but rumors have circulated that Gary Payton could be in contention to join Scott’s staff.

Payton recently talked about the possibility of joining the Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff on Fox Sports 1.

“This stuff is just rumors right now,” Payton said. “I went to Summer League and I was with Jason (Kidd) for a long period of time and we had a couple of conversations. I’m getting interested now,” Payton said.

“A lot of guys knew I wasn’t interested in coaching, but now I’m getting a little interested. I see these young guys out here that needs some help and some guidance from a guy like me. It’s there, but I like what I’m doing right now, I like Fox Sports 1,” Seattle Sonics legend said.

Payton admitted that for now it is only talk, adding that he has to put his mind to it and to think about making sacrifices.

“But you know if I get into basketball I don’t know what will happen. I could be a head coach in three, four, five years I just don’t know,” said Payton, who has no experience coaching on any level.

Payton and power forward Shawn Kemp led the Seattle Supersonics to the NBA Finals in 1995-96, where they fell to the Chicago Bulls, who went on to win two more championships in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Payton stayed with the Sonics until Feb. 20, 2003, when he was traded to the Bucks and reunited with his former coach George Karl. During his 17-year NBA career, Payton established himself as one of the best defensive point guards of all-time.

He 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.

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