Nicknamed “The Glove” for his incredible defensive skills, and is the only point guard that has won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. Payton first showed his talent while playing for Oregon University where he soon became one of the most decorated basketball players in the history of the OSU.
He is best known for playing with the Seattle SuperSonics for 13 years, and holds Seattle franchise records in points, assists, and steals.
He also played with multiple other teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat with whom he won an NBA championship.
Along with all his success Payton is also known for his trash talk on the court, earning him the nickname “The Mouth”. In his early years he was regarded as a more volatile and arrogant player on the court and the locker room.
Throughout the years however he turned in to more of a psychological leader for younger players. He believed mental toughness during the game was just as important as your skill level on the court.
His court talent has been passed on to his son Gary Payton II. Gary has four children total, three with his wife Monique whom he married in 1997. Their family is currently living in Oakland and Las Vegas.