Gary Payton is the only point guard in NBA history to win the Defensive Player Of The Year Award.
During his 18 year career, he was a 9-time Allstar and a member of the All-Defensive Team 9-times as well. In the mist of 1995-96 season, Payton became the steal champion, and also made history by becoming the first point guard to win the Defensive Player Of The Year Award. Earning him the nickname “The Glove” because of his stellar defense.
His will and determination along with Shawn “The Reignman” Kemp helped lead the Seattle SuperSonics to the NBA a Finals for the first time since 1979. This time it was against the 72-10 Chicago Bulls, and the Sonics would lose in six games. Resulting in the fourth title for Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson.
The following season Kemp would be traded away to Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team trade and the Sonics acquired Vin Baker from the Milwaukee Bucks. Payton would play five more seasons in Seattle before being traded to Milwaukee for future Hall of Famer Ray Allen in 2002-2003. In 2006, Payton would finally obtain that exclusive championship with the Miami Heat, as a member of the supporting cast alongside Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal.
In 2013, One of the NBA’s greatest trash talkers would take his play amongst the rest of the basketball greats in Springfield. As a first ballot Hall of Famer on September 9th, 2013, former Mayor of Seattle J. Mike McGinn declared September 9th “Gary Payton Day.”
— Gary Payton (@gary_payton20) September 9, 2018