Hall of Famer Discussed Playing for Hometown Warriors

Hall of Famer Discussed Playing for Hometown Warriors


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Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton

The Golden State Warriors have become known in recent years for being a hotbed for success. Having their big three in Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Steph Curry take the franchise from the struggling point they were before to now being synonymous with winning is quite the accomplishment.

Prior to the Warriors’ big three arriving, the franchise had gone through many other stars and all-stars who either found their stride in the bay area or elsewhere in their NBA journey.

One Hall of Famer who is from Oakland, recently discussed if he ever wanted to play for the Warriors during his career.

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Would The Glove Fit in Golden State?

Gary PaytonGary Payton

Getty3-Headed Monsters head coach Gary Payton reacts from the sidelines during the BIG3 Playoffs on August 25, 2019.

Playing at home could always be tough for NBA players. It already means a lot that you made it into the league and there are extra pressures to be successful in your home town, a la Derrick Rose and LeBron James.

Recently Hall of Famer Gary Payton discussed with Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson about if he ever considered taking on that pressure and playing for his hometown team.

“Never! I didn’t want to go home man. That’s tough. Playing in your backyard, I never wanted to go there. I wanted to play for the San Antonio Spurs because of George Gervin. That’s my childhood idol. I had him all over my room and he’s like my pops to me now. When my father died he became like my father.”

“I talk to him all the time and I have him induct me into everything that I have done; Hall of Fame in high school and I got in touch with him when I was about to get my number retired at high school, he gave a little speech on the video in my first year in the NBA and I got to meet him and everything else I went in after that, I always call him and I get to see him in three weeks because he’s going to be there so I’ll get to spend more time with him and then what’s so fortunate, I got to be with him at the BIG3. He was a coach and I was a coach and I was with every week during the summer for 10 weeks straight. So I get to be with my pops and it was cool for me.”

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When Could Payton Have Played for the Warriors?

Gary Payton CelticsGary Payton Celtics

GettyGary Payton stares down a foe

Payton’s career lasted 18 years from the 1990-91 NBA season until the 2006-07 season. Over the course of it, he was an All-Star for nine of those seasons, a defensive player of the year award winner, and a 9x All-NBA defender.

The first opportunity Payton would have had to play for the Warriors would have been the 2002-03 NBA season. He was ultimately traded to the Milwaukee Bucks from the Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, and Ronald ‘Flip’ Murray.

If Payton had instead been traded to the Warriors that season, he would have had the opportunity to potentially play alongside Gilbert Arenas, Mike Dunleavy, Jason Richardson, and Antwan Jamison.

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