Gary Payton wants to end up on an NBA coaching staff.
Being an NBA point guard is the best way to get an NBA head coaching job, as the likes of Doc Rivers, Isiah Thomas, and Steve Nash, just to name a few, have all landed head coaching positions without any prior experience as a coach. Chauncey Billups, who has been on TV for the last few years, has made the jump to coaching with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Despite his success on the court in the mid-90s, former Seattle SuperSonics legend Gary Payton never got such a call. However, he’s looking to change all of that and earn himself a role in The Association as a coach. Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Payton said that he wants to trade in his role as a contributor for a spot on an NBA coaching staff.
“A lot of young NBA players are a voice away from reaching their true potential,” Payton said. “I would like to join an NBA staff where I can help coach, mentor, and guide players toward the hard work, focus, and determination needed to become a reliable contributor to a team’s success.”
Gary Payton is one of the best defensive guards in history
Payton playing for 17 seasons in the NBA, 13 of which were spent in Seattle. He averaged 16.7 points, 6.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game, but it was his legendary on-ball defense that earned him the nickname “The Glove” and a spot in Springfield. Payton was a nine-time All-Star, All-NBA selection, and All-Defensive Team selection, but he has never been invited onto a coaching staff.
While Payton, who has become an analyst for TNT and NBATV in retirement, has cut his teeth in the BIG3, that is hardly experience that qualifies someone to earn a coaching job in the NBA.
Payton might not mich of a resume on the bench, but his physical play, insight on both ends of the floor, and pedigree as one of the best point guards of his era will help any coaching staff.