Arguably one of the best trash-talking guys who played in the NBA, the great Gary Payton doesn’t seem to be extremely positive in his comments regarding the Golden State Warriors.
When the team’s star Stephen Curry received the NBA’s first unanimous MVP, Payton said Michael Jordan should have been a unanimous decision during his own playing days.
““I think all of those guys were unanimous decisions too. It just happened in an era that went his way…I commend him and what he’s accomplished, but you gotta think about who was voting for MJ, Kareem, in their time, why they wouldn’t have given all their votes to those guys,” he told SportsIllustrated.
Further, when talking on the SiriusXM NBA radio, Payton commented on the Warriors forward Draymond Green’s game.
“I like Draymond Green’s intensity … but every time I didn’t get a call I didn’t cry all the time,” Payton said, comparing the current NBA with the one he played in.
Meanwhile, Payton did admit that he sees a lot of himself in Green, who was the runner-up for defensive player of the year behind Kawhi Leonard this season.
Payton himself won the award in 1996 and was a nine-time member of the NBA’s All-Defense first team.
“He’s a great defender, but he has to get out of that,” Payton said of Green. “A lot of these referees are giving him a lot of leeway.”
A hard trash-talker in his playing days, Payton said he also got his fair share of technical, so he speaks from experience.
“I think he would help his self a lot if he’d just say something, go over and talk to the referee,” he said. “They’d understand him a little bit more instead of just complaining.”
Payton 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. 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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