When it comes to the pantheon of greatest point guards in NBA history, a lot of names get tossed around. There’s Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas, and John Stockton, as well as second-tier guys like Oscar Robertson, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash. But one player who never gets enough credit is nine-time All-Star Gary Payton.
Together with Shawn Kemp, they were one of the most exciting — not to mention successful — duos of the 90s. They were the original Lob City, and on the other side of the court, Payton will go down as one of the best all-time defenders at his position. He was also a notorious trash talker who could irritate opponents like nobody’s business.
The Glove has been staying busy in retirement, most recently with the BIG3, where he helmed a 3 Headed Monsters team that made it all the way to the championship game before losing a nail-biter to Trilogy. He’s also continuing his crusade to bring the NBA back to Seattle.
Payton was in Los Angeles over the weekend to help the league promote NBA All-Star voting presented by Verizon and for All-Star 2018 fan events, tickets for which are currently on sale at NBATickets.com.
We caught up with him by phone to discuss the new All-Star Game format, what we can expect from season two of the BIG3, how social media has ruined trash talk and much, much more.