Hall of Fame guard Gary Payton told Yahoo Sports that he is interested in coaching in the NBA and wants it known that he’s passionate about this next phase and is available to join a coaching staff.
“I have had conversations in the past about coaching, but the timing wasn’t right. I believe I now am ready to coach,” Payton told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview Thursday night. “A lot of young NBA players are a voice away from reaching their true potential. 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.”
Payton, 52, has been an ambassador for the NBA and a contributor to TNT and NBATV.
His knowledge of the game is without question, and he believes too often young players aren’t able to get better because they have been pre-programmed to think the NBA is an easy transition.
“My rookie year was a rude awakening to the type of talent and competition on the NBA level. That summer and every year after I worked extremely hard to get better at all facets of my game,” Payton told Yahoo Sports. “[Coaches] Tim Grgurich, George Karl, Eric Hughes were the extra voices that helped me become an All-Star, NBA champion and a member of the Hall of Fame.”
Nicknamed “The Glove” because of his defensive prowess, Payton played 17 seasons in the NBA and was a nine-time All-Star, a nine-time All-NBA First-Team selection and the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year. He also has two gold medals from the 1996 and 2000 Olympics in Atlanta and Sydney, respectively. He also coached in the Big3 starting in 2017.
It’s been 13 years since Payton last played, but he’s eager to get back in the trenches to assist and help develop the next wave of NBA players.
“I have knowledge to share and I’m ready to help,” Payton told Yahoo Sports.
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