Hall of Famer Gary Payton is the only point guard to win the Defensive Player of the Year. The former nine-time All-Star achieved the feat during the 1995-1996 season. During his 16 seasons in the NBA, Payton averaged 16.3 Points, 3.9 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game.
Gary Payton along with the likes of Detlef Schremp, Shawn Kemp, Sam Perkins, and Nate McMillan helped to lead the Seattle Supersonics to the NBA Finals in 1996. Unfortunately, for them, they would come up short losing in six games to the Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen.
This wouldn’t be the last time Payton would help a team to the NBA Finals. He would return to the Finals in 2004 with the Los Angeles Lakers, but would end up losing to the Detriot Pistons in five games and again in 2006 as a member of the Miami Heat. The third time was a charm as Payton, and the rest of his heat teammates would beat the Dallas Mavericks in six games, after going dropping the first two games on the road.
Gary Payton is a once in a generation type of player, and there hasn’t been body to come close since he retired. However, Payton’s former Laker and Heat teammate Shaq back in April on Inside The NBA said, “Patrick Beverley is a modern-day Gary Payton.”
— 👑📍Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson (@ScoopB) April 15, 2019
Also back in April Sacramento Kings assistant coach Bobby Jackson share with me, that Beverly reminded him of a mini Gary Payton.
— Landon Buford (@LandonBuford) April 15, 2019
This past weekend the Big 3 was in Dallas for their third annual visit, and I had to the opportunity to get Payton’s take on the comparison to Patrick Beverley.
“I’ll take that! That is my little youngster and love him a lot, and going to work with him a lot. So, you guys will see me at a lot of Clippers games now that you mentioned it. So, yeah, has that dog in him and I like him. I was watching film on him yesterday to about things he could do or change on defense, and we are going to work that. I don’t care about the offense its, not the same he has two players that are going to be really high profile on offense with Paul and Kawhi.
So, I think if he can average 12 to 14 points, I think it will be really good. I think he should focus on trying to win Defensive Player of the Year because I am the only one ever to win it and he should focus on trying to become the second one, and I think he can do it. “
Last season Patrick Beverley averaged 7.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 3.8 assists, as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. Beverley will be entering his seventh seasons out of the University of Arkansas. The Los Angeles Lakers draft the 6’1 point guard with the 42nd pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. The day of the draft the Miami Heat would acquire in exchange for a 2011 second-round draft pick and cash considerations.