After getting cut several times, Gary Payton II wanted to join the staff

2022-04-22 06:27
Credit: AP - Scanpix
Credit AP - Scanpix

Gary Payton II is the son of the legendary Seattle Supersonics guard Gary Payton but his path in the NBA has not been an easy one. Payton II has been in and out of the league with seemingly no clear role in neither the main league nor the G-League.

Payton II was cut from the Golden State Warriors in early October once again. When he heard the news, the player had a different solution - he decided to ask if he could join the club's staff.

He knew about a job opening in the video coordination department and approached the assistant coach Jama Mahlalela to ask about the opportunity to join.

3-pointers this season

Points made: 14,2
Accuracy: 36,7%
Place in standings: 2
Record max: 22
Record min: 5
Most made 3FGs: Stephen Curry

"I was dead serious," Payton recalls. "If I get cut, I'm going to audition for that job. I was just trying to stay around. I'd still be around the game, I could still help, travel whatnot. And then figure it out from there."

"I just talked to him about the criteria for the video room: A willing learner, someone who can get on the court still and play, whatever. And he's like, 'I'll do that,'" Mahlalela remembers the situation. "And I'm like, Gary, I'm not letting you do that. There is no chance in the world you are going to do that. You are playing for this team."

Four days later, Payton II earned the 15th and last spot on the team and has been together with his teammates ever since. He's a valuable defensive asset for the team that's aspiring to once again battle for the championship.

According to data from Cleaning the Glass, Payton II has a 1.0% block percentage (90th percentile) and a 3.4% steal percentage (100th percentile), while the opponents' turnover percentage increases by 3.7% when he's on the court (98th percentile).


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