Gary Payton Discusses The BIG3 Playoffs, Coaching, And Seattle Needing Basketball Back

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The BIG3 had its biggest week of the year in Los Angeles after all the stars showed out for the last week of the regular season. Chris Brown, Dwyane Wade, Jeanie Buss, Oscar De La Hoya, Nipsey Hussle, Snoop Dogg, Martin Lawrence, and more were in attendance at Staples Center this past Sunday, as was LaVar Ball for his shootout with Ice Cube (that he lost).

Rumors of Lamar Odom and Gilbert Arenas wanting in Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league continued to surface and Gilbert was seen at practice shooting 4-point shots and both were in attendance in L.A.

This week, the BIG3 will be in Seattle on August 20th at Key Arena, bringing basketball back to Seattle for a weekend. To get us primed for this weekend, the BIG3 just released a new “Fresh Off The Court” series where players discuss the games from the week prior and more, with Gary Payton featured in the first interview.

Payton’s Three Headed Monsters are headed to the first ever BIG3 playoffs but suffered a loss against the George “Iceman” Gervin’s Ghost Ballers. Gary talks about the loss, what they need to do to make it to the Finals of the BIG3, and then explains why the BIG3 playoffs coming to Seattle is so important for the city that lost its NBA team a decade ago.

“They want basketball,” Payton said. “We didn’t have a good mayor at the time in ’07 and he just let the team go. But this is going to be a big key for us, because we’ve got to show a lot of these people out in this world that Seattle is a great city to be in and a great sports city and we need basketball back there.”

NBA expansion has been a topic of conversation for much of the year and while Adam Silver has said he doesn’t expect anything to happen on that front any time soon, he has noted that Seattle will likely be the first to get a team whenever the league does inevitably expand, even if there’s no timeline for it. Sonics fans have been without their franchise for a decade, and Sunday afternoon will be an opportunity to catch some former NBA stars in action and, as Payton said, show out to the world to prove how great they are as a basketball city.