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I always respected Gary Payton's game back when he was with the Sonics. The Glove was an elite defender back then, but I've never liked his personality. Shit talking, yelling at his teammates, and constantly saying stupid shit with his annoying voice. For one reason or another he decided to bitch about Hall of Famer K.C. Jones twenty years after the fact.

Hall of Famer Gary Payton was so down on himself as a player and so frustrated with the coaching situation in Seattle early in his career that he came close to retiring after his rookie season, he told NBA.com on Wednesday.
“I was thinking about it,” Payton said in a phone conversation from his home in Las Vegas. “I was like, ‘What am I out here for? This isn’t even what I want to do. I’m not happy.’ I didn’t want to do anything….”
Payton played well enough in 1990-91 to be voted second-team All-Rookie, but the 7.2 points and 6.4 assists for a 41-41 team that finished one place lower in the Pacific Division than the season before was not up to the standards he set for himself as the No. 2 pick in the draft. It was being the starter without getting true starter’s minutes, though, that truly bothered him, the 27.4 minutes per that led him to feel a lack of support from coach K.C. Jones.

Owner Barry Ackerley convinced Payton the SuperSonics believed in the young point guard, agent Aaron Goodwin and Payton’s father told Payton to give it time, and so he returned rather than retire or try to force a trade. Jones was fired 36 games into the next season and replaced by George Karl. And when that change included Tim Grgurich coming as an assistant, Payton would meet his destiny as one of the great two-way guards in history.

“If we wouldn’t have changed coaches,” Payton said, “I would have probably said, ‘Yo, you know what? I want to end this. I don’t want to do this anymore because I’m not happy.’ If they would have stayed with the same coach, I would have probably just shut it down. They would have tried to trade me or I would have told them I don’t want to play there anymore.

Aww poor Gary Payton only got to start all 82 games as a rookie, but only averaged 27.4 minutes per game. And obviously K.C. Jones wouldn't know anything about the point guard position. Not like he played the position and won many titles at the position. Not like he resurrected Dennis Johnson's career as a Celtic on the way to winning titles in 1984 and 1986.

Look I don't know if K.C. Jones was a good coach or not during his Sonics tenure. He won half of his games as their coach, which wasn't awful, but George Karl obviously took the team to another level as the team's young core got older. I know some people have claimed that Jones wasn't that great a Celtics coach, but the only Celtics coach who's won more titles is Red Auerbach, so keep that in mind. Not every team needs a screamer on the bench. When you have players like Bird and D.J. on the court, it's probably best not to stymie their leadership. Jones coached 4 NBA teams and never had a season with a losing record. He finished his coaching career with a 67.4% winning percentage. Not too shabby.

Yeah I wouldn't be able to smile either if I had
to listen to Payton and watch Blount all season.
Gary Payton is just a prick for bringing this up now and what a loser he would have been if he retired at the age of 22 (I call BS on his claim). Of course Payton also has a Celtics connection. Some people loved him on the C's. Personally I think it's all about the name. You hear the Celtics are signing Shaq or Rasheed Wallace or trading for Payton (who initially refused to come to Boston) and many fans get excited. But you're getting shells of their former selves. Payton was no longer The Glove in Boston. In fact he had become a subpar defender at the point by that time. He'd often have to guard opposing shooting guards (like the Lakers did with Derek Fisher).

If I'm correct Payton did do one solid for Boston. By initially refusing to accept his trade to the Celtics, the Lakers and the C's were forced to rework the trade and the Celtics acquired a 1st round pick. That pick would eventually be traded on draft night 2006 for Rajon Rondo. Rondo would play less minutes as a rookie than Payton did 16 years earlier and only started 25 games, but never complained, threatened to retire or demand a trade like the entitled Payton did. In fact Rondo has been tossed around in trade rumors every year of his career, but has never complained. Before I get on a Rondo tangent, to sum this up: K.C. Jones deserves better and Gary Payton is an ass (though a damn good player during his Sonics prime).

JR 8/29/2013 07:19:00 PM Edit
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