Gift of gab an unmistakable part of Payton's HOF legacy
Summary of 2 articles · Updated Sep 6, 2013
It will not surprise you to learn that the first time I saw Gary Payton in person, he was talking. Payton, selected to the All-Defensive first team nine times, earned his spot in the Hall on the strength of his lockdown ability on D Stuck between Michael Jordan’s retirement and return, for years without the presence of Magic and Larry, the league was looked at by some as a noisy, uncouth collection of shoe salesmen that liked to hold out for big contracts before hanging on the rim after dunks.
It turns out that Gary Payton was just a big sweetheart, after all. He may have talked trash with the best of them and chucked dumbbells at Vernon Maxwell for his between-game calisthenics routine, but the mouthy image also had a lot to do with exactly …