Birthplace: Oakland, CA
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
NBA Seasons: 17
NBA Championships: 1
All Star Appearances: 9
Gary “The Glove” Payton, who has coached the 3 Headed Monsters since the league’s inception in 2017, has guided his team into every single BIG3 playoff tournament. Competing in the championship game in Season 1, and in the 2018 and 2019 semifinal games, Payton has the advantage of legacy—both in BIG3 standings and in original roster. Now, armed with the depth of three years of team-building and practice, Payton aims to finish the job he started in 2017.
Coach Payton is best known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, where he holds Seattle franchise records in points, assists, and steals. Payton is widely considered one of the best point guards of all time and is the only point guard that has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He was considered the “NBA’s reigning high scorer among point guards” during his time in the league and is one of the most respected and iconic athletes in America.
Payton was the consummate point guard. He was able to dish the ball to Seattle’s many scorers; his lob passes to thunderous dunker Shawn Kemp have led many to call the duo the most impressive alley-oop combo ever. Payton remained the mainstay of the Sonics after Kemp’s departure—a perennial All-Star and the primary reason the team continued to contend for the play-offs each season.
Since his athletic retirement, Payton has worked as a respected cable sports analyst. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, NBA Champion, nine-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist took on his first pro-sports coaching gig in 2017 with The BIG3. And apparently, he’s very good at it.