Gary Payton - Sports Royalty

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Gary Payton

November 3, 2018
Keilor Park Stadium
11:00am to 3:00pm
November 4, 2018
Werribee Recreation Stadium
11:00am to 3:00pm
November 5, 2018
State Basketball Centre
11:00am to 3:00pm
NBA career
Seattle SuperSonics (1990–2003)
Payton was the second overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics, and spent his first 12½ seasons with the Sonics. Entering the league to star-studded expectations, Payton struggled during his first two seasons in the league, averaging 8.2 points per game during that span. However, he soon proved himself to be one of the league's top point guards, while, during the 1990s Payton, alongside Shawn Kemp formed the "Sonic Boom" – one of the most thrilling tandems of all time. He earned his first of 9 consecutive All-NBA team selections when he was chosen to the All-NBA Third team in 1994. Payton would go on to make the All-NBA First-Team in 1998 and 2000, All-NBA Second Team in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2002, and All-NBA Third Team in 1994 and 2001. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team a record nine consecutive seasons (1994–2002), and won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1996, the first guard to win the award in 8 years. He has been selected to the NBA All-Star Team nine times and was voted as a starter in 1997 and 1998. He was a member of the gold medal-winning 1996 and 2000 U.S. Men's Olympic Basketball Teams. In 1996, Payton and the SuperSonics, under coach George Karl, reached the NBA Finals after winning a franchise record 64 games and lost in six games to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.
Milwaukee Bucks (2003)
In the middle of the 2002–03 season at the trade deadline, Payton was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks along with Desmond Mason in exchange for Ray Allen, Kevin Ollie, and Ronald Murray. Payton played the remaining 28 games with the Bucks, averaging 19.6 points and 7.4 assists per game. The Bucks faced the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets in the first round of the playoffs, pushing the Nets to six games before losing to the more experienced and well rounded Nets. Payton led the Bucks in scoring (18.5) and assists (8.7) during the series, which included a 20-point, 14-assist performance in a game 4 Milwaukee win.
Los Angeles Lakers (2003–04)
As an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2003–04 season, Payton, along with Karl Malone, signed with the Los Angeles Lakers to make a run at their first NBA Championship. Payton started in all 82 games and averaged 14.6 points with 5.5 assists and 1.2 steals but struggled with Lakers coach Phil Jackson's triangle offense, which limited his ball-handling and post-up opportunities.[7][8] Payton provided offense in games where superstar teammates Shaquille O'Neal or Kobe Bryant could not play due to injury, including a 30-point output in an overtime win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 4.
Despite injuries to Malone, O'Neal and Bryant throughout the season, the Lakers won 56 games and the Pacific Division. In the playoffs, Payton averaged just 7.8 points per game but scored 15 points in games 3 and 6 of the Lakers' semifinal series against the San Antonio Spurs, and scored 18 points to go with 9 assists in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Lakers would reach the NBA Finals before falling to the Detroit Pistons in 5 games, with Payton struggling to contain Chauncey Billups who torched the Laker defense and won the Finals MVP award.
Boston Celtics (2004–05)
Prior to the 2004–05 season, the Lakers traded Payton and Rick Fox to the Boston Celtics for center Chris Mihm, small forward Jumaine Jones and point guard Chucky Atkins. While Payton expressed displeasure with the trade, he ultimately did report to Boston and began the 2004–05 season as the Celtics' starting point guard. On February 24, 2005 Payton was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in a deal that brought former Celtic Antoine Walker back to Boston. The Hawks then waived Payton immediately following the trade, and he returned a week later to Boston as a free agent. Payton started all 77 games he played for Boston and averaged 11.3 points per game and 6.1 assists as the Celtics won the Atlantic Division before losing in the first round to the Indiana Pacers.
Miami Heat (2005–07)
On September 22, 2005, he signed a one-year $1.1 million contract with Miami, reuniting with Walker (who was acquired seven weeks earlier by the Heat), as well as former Lakers' teammate Shaquille O'Neal. Serving as a backup to Jason Williams, Payton averaged 7.7 points and started 25 of 81 games. In the playoffs, Payton did not start but averaged 24.3 minutes a game after averaging 28.5 minutes during the regular season, often playing during pressure situations in the 4th quarter of games. In game 4 of the semifinals against the New Jersey Nets, Payton hit a critical three-pointer with 56 seconds left in the game to clinch the Heat victory. In game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on the road against the Detroit Pistons, Payton scored 14 points on 6 of 8 shooting, helping the Heat set the tone in the series. Miami won the series in 6 games to reach the team's first ever Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. Miami lost the first two games in Dallas and trailed in the final quarter of game 3 before a comeback led by Dwyane Wade culminated with a Jason Williams pass to Payton, who faked his defender and hit the game-winning jump-shot to keep Miami from falling 3–0 in the series. In game 5, Payton scored 8 points, including Miami's final field goal with 29 seconds left, to help clinch a one-point victory. The Heat returned to Dallas for game 6 and won 95–92, securing their first and Payton's only NBA title.
On September 6, 2006, the 38-year-old Payton re-signed with the defending champion Miami Heat on a one-year, $1.2 million contract. During the subsequent 2006–07 NBA season, Payton continued to climb up several NBA all-time lists: he moved from 17th to 8th in all-time NBA games played, passed John Havlicek and Robert Parish to move into 7th in all-time minutes played, and passed Hal Greer and Larry Bird to become the 21st-highest scorer in NBA history.
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