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Gary Payton          

NBA Hall of Famer; Considered One of the Best Defensive Players of All Time

Gary Payton is an American former professional basketball player who played the point guard position. He is best known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, and holds Seattle franchise records in points, assists, and steals. He also played with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. Payton won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2006. Nicknamed "The Glove" for his defensive abilities, Payton was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. In October 2021, Payton was honored as one of the league's greatest players of all-time by being named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

Payton is widely considered one of the greatest point guards of all time. He is the only point guard to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, an NBA record he shares with Michael Jordan, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant. He was also a nine-time NBA All-Star and a nine-time All-NBA Team member.

Considered the "NBA's reigning high scorer among point guards" in his prime, Payton was called "probably as complete a guard as there ever was" by Basketball Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich.

During the 2008–09 season, Payton served as a studio analyst for NBA TV and as an occasional substitute analyst on The NBA on TNT. He was replaced with Kevin McHale for the 2009–10 season. In 2013, Payton was named an analyst for Fox Sports 1's Fox Sports Live. Payton has appeared in "White Men Can't Jump," "Eddie," "Like Mike" and also performed a speaking role in the 1999 comedy film "The Breaks." He also appeared on "The Jamie Foxx Show."

Payton has made numerous well-regarded contributions of both time and money to the community. He set up The Gary Payton Foundation in 1996 to provide safe places for recreational activity, and to help underprivileged youth in his hometown of Oakland stay in school. He hosts an annual charity basketball game as part of his foundation. Payton also gave back to the East Oakland Youth Development Center (EOYDC), a youth center that he attended in Oakland when he was growing up. Payton and his wife, Monique, have been active in fundraising endeavors for HIV awareness, and Payton has lent many hours and provided tremendous financial support to the Boys & Girls Club of America and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. In 1999, he wrote an autobiographical children's book entitled "Confidence Counts" as part of the "Positively for Kids" series, illustrating the importance of confidence through events in his own life.

Payton is featured in the documentary Sonicsgate, which covers the team's relocation from Seattle to Oklahoma City. When Sonicsgate won a Webby Award for Best Sports Film, Payton gave the acceptance speech, which consisted solely of the five words "Bring back our Seattle SuperSonics."

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