Will “The Glove” Get H.O.F. Love?
There are those who can talk the talk, those who can walk the walk, and then there’s Gary Payton. Even with nine All-Star selections, nine selections to the NBA All-Defensive First Team, an NBA championship and the title of being the only guard in NBA history to win Defensive Player of the Year; Gary Payton refused to only let his play do the talking – his mouth saw plenty of work as well. “The Glove” joined the BFT on Monday to talk about his career and his chances of making the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Payton will be eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time this year, and it’s likely a safe bet that he’ll be selected for induction on his first ballot. When asked about the likely induction, Payton said that growing up as a kid in Oakland, California; he never dreamed of the possibility of being inducted. Even so, Payton said that the greatest moment of his life would be to have his parents see him make the Hall of Fame, as they were so instrumental in his upbringing.
“[Kids] in the 80’s, didn’t have a mother and father [growing up] in Oakland, California – they only had a mother,” said Payton. “So my father was a big influence in my life and in other kids’ lives.”
As the conversation shifted towards his career, Payton reflected on representing the United States in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and how his perspective on his fellow NBA superstars changed after having them as teammates for three months.
“[I had] a different outlook on them when I started playing after [the Olympics],” Payton explained. “After that, I would know [each man] as a person, and as a friend.”
As a result of that time on the Olympic squad, Payton ended up developing relationships with players who he never imagined he would get along with, namely Tim Hardaway and Karl Malone.
“Tim Hardaway – I had a grudge against him,” said Payton. “But then when I got to know him and got to sit around him, now we’re best friends.”
Payton went on to say that he and Malone are so close now the
pair talks every week.
To listen to the entire interview, click below: