Birthplace: Oakland, CA
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
NBA Seasons: 17
NBA Championships: 1
All Star Appearances: 9
Coach Gary “The Glove” 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; the lob passes he served up to Kemp for the latter’s thunderous slam dunks 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.
For years since his retirement from playing, 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 Medallist will be taking on his first pro-sports coaching gig in The BIG3.