Over his 8-year NBA career, Warriors guard Gary Payton II boasts a reputation as a tenacious two-way force.
But the 31-year-old guard’s path to championship status with Golden State wasn’t easy to follow, even with NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton Sr., also known as “The Glove,” for a dad.
On a recent episode of “Dubs Talk" with NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole and Dalton Johnson, Payton II explained how Gary Sr. was hard on him during his upbringing as a basketball player.
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“Growing up, [Gary Sr.] always wanted me to have that dog in me because he had that dog in him,” Gary II told Johnson and Poole. “He tried to instill that at a young age. I just didn’t get it. I didn’t understand it. He grew up different, I grew up different. So that took a little bit of time.
“He told me that I wasn’t really a good basketball player, but not in those words. He kind of lit a fire under me because me and him were always [butting heads] growing up, and I just wanted to prove him wrong.”
Payton II admitted his struggle with finding the “dog” that his dad prominently had.
Evidently, it’s demanding to replicate a nine-time All-NBA defender and NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
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However, GP2 credits his dad’s challenging language for his motivation to become a better basketball player, and he enjoyed silencing him as he progressed.
“Eventually, that dog, I found it,” Payton explained to Poole and Johnson. “I knew what it was, I knew what [Gary Sr.] was talking about. The more and more I got better, he got quieter. I was like, ‘I must be doing something good if he’s not saying nothing.’ I feel like I got the dog and the instincts and everything from him for sure.”
While Payton II shares his dad’s defensive approach and high motor, the Oregon State product credits his mom for being able-bodied.
“The athleticism– for sure, Monique James. Everything about it. [My] anticipation, jumps, speed, I definitely got it from my mom.”
James ran track and played basketball during her high school years in Oakland, and flashes of her skill set are on display through her son's high flying around the rim today.
While Payton II may not have the accolades to rival his 18-year NBA veteran dad, the “Young Glove” plays the game with the same fire and intensity.
Most importantly, Payton II has the same number of rings as Gary Sr. and continues to suppress his trash-talking.