Saturday , Sep , 08 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Does ‘The Glove’ Suffer If Gary Payton Joins Golden State Warriors Or Re-Signs With Miami Heat?

But the championship didn’t matter to over-zealous hoop purists. They accused Payton of tarnishing his Seattle-Glove legacy by bouncing from team-to-team and hanging on past his prime. They wanted him to call it a career. One word for those folks: haters …

Agent Aaron Goodwin discusses Gary Payton’s future with the San Mateo County Times:

"He’s deciding if he’s going to take another crack at playing one more season, or maybe go to Seattle and work in some sort of management position, or go into TV color commentary," Goodwin said.

Goodwin said there have been no talks yet with potential teams, including the Warriors.

"He definitely has thoughts of going back from Sports 1and giving it one more shot in Miami," Goodwin said. "If that didn’t work, he’d like to play for a West Coast team, the Warriors being one of them. It’d be great to retire in Oakland."

My Quick Take: This time of year I’m restless. Junkies need their fix. And like a junkie I need David Stern and thirty different teams to break me off a little NBA smack. FIBA Tournaments won’t do. I need the NBA.

To satisfy my addiction I watched the 1995-96 NBA Finals on ESPN Classics. Seattle versus , Gary Payton versus Michael Jordan. Yeah, I’m good.

Back in the day, Payton was a world class point guard. He could defend, pass, and score. But his confidence and attitude made him great. The Glove developed his trademark swagger by balling on the legendary playgrounds of Oakland, the left coast’s unofficial training ground for table-setters.

I wanted him to win an NBA Title in Seattle. It didn’t happen. So, after a controversial trade to Milwaukee, Payton signed a below market contract with the Los Angeles Lakers in hopes of winning a Championship.

Hollywood seemed like a good look. Think about the hype surrounding Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and Paul Pierce playing together in Boston. Well, a few years back, L.A. had a souped-up version of the Celtics’ trio with Payton playing next to t, Karl Malone, and .

But the Kobe-Shaq soap opera destroyed . And Payton spent significant time on the bench, uncomfortable with Zen Master Phil’s triple-post offense. And, after a stint in , Payton inked a deal with the Heat. With Miami, he finally won that elusive NBA Title as a reserve combo guard.

But the championship didn’t matter to over-zealous hoop purists. They accused Payton of tarnishing his Seattle-Glove legacy by bouncing from team-to-team and hanging on past his prime. They wanted him to call it a career.

One word for those folks: haters. Payton’s legacy belongs to him. Nobody else. He decides when and where to call it quits. Not you. Right now, he wants to play. And an NBA team might have interest in his services.

Don’t count on that team being the Warriors or Heat. Golden State already has Baron Davis and Monta Ellis. And a few weeks back, Pat Riley said Miami had moved on. I guess it’s up to Payton to consider his options and decide whether to play or retire. We can always watch The Glove on ESPN Classics. 

Is Payton hurting his legacy by still playing? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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