Gary Payton II

How GP2 overcame 2016 draft snub with help from coach

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  • Programming Note: Watch Positive Coaching Alliance's Game Changer Awards and Benefit show at 9 p.m. PT on Thursday night on NBC Sports Bay Area after "Dubs Talk Live."

At the 2024 edition of the NBC Sports Bay Area’s Game Changer Awards, Gary Payton II shared how a coach helped him overcome not getting selected in the 2016 NBA Draft.

During a pre-recorded segment before Payton took the stage, the video montage centered around the Warriors’ guard and his longtime personal coach and friend Darrell Jordan Jr. aka “Peanut.” Jordan Jr. explained how he helped Payton get off the couch and start taking basketball seriously as a teenager, leading him to Oregon State and a chance to get drafted in 2016, with the Warriors guard stating how important their relationship has been to him.

“He’s been there probably more than he knows for me,” Payton II said. "In certain situations, I can’t really call to many people, but I know I can call him. That’s all I really need just because I’m used to it from my father just being 100 percent honest with me, so it doesn’t hurt my feelings, it’s going to make me better, it’s going to make me stronger."

Jordan Jr. then detailed how he and Payton II navigated draft night in 2016, vowing to get back to work after the setback.

“Before the draft, we were hoping to hear his name called,” Jordan Jr. said. “When his name didn’t get called, it was devastating. And Gary calls me, and he says ‘meet me upstairs’ and I’m like ‘My g, what’s up? You good?’ and he’s like ‘Look at everybody, they’re sad and disappointed and I’m not.’

“He’s like ‘Peanut, we’ve been in this situation before, I’m used to this so I’m ready.’ And I’m just like ‘You know me, whatever you want to do sign me up.’ ”

Clearly, Payton II and Jordan Jr. were undeterred by the setback, as he continued to pursue professional opportunities in the NBA G league, rotating in and out of various NBA organizations before the Warriors picked him up in 2021, where he blossomed into a key contributor to Golden State’s most recent NBA title.

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