Imprinting knowledge on young players will help them grow and having Gary Payton around the San Antonio Spurs would do dividends for player development.
Having someone with a Hall of Fame resume who put his team before his personal success would do dividends for a San Antonio Spurs coaching staff trying to push this group forward. Considering defense is the team’s biggest weakness, having one of the five greatest perimeter defenders on the sidelines to coach the up-and-comers would be meaningful for this group.
It was reported by Yahoo Sports’ Chris B. Haynes that Hall of Famer Gary Payton wants to insert his name in the professional coaching ranks. After years as an analyst for NBATV whose voice and stature in the NBA ranks hold enormous weight, Payton wants to be the voice that helps young NBA players fulfill their potential.
“I have had conversations in the past about coaching, but the timing wasn’t right. I believe I now am ready to coach,” Payton told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview Thursday night. “A lot of young NBA players are a voice away from reaching their true potential. I would like to join an NBA staff where I can help coach, mentor and guide players toward the hard work, focus and determination needed to become a reliable contributor to a team’s success.”
This wouldn’t be ‘The Glove’s’ first coaching gig either. He’s been the head coach of the 3 Headed Monsters in the Big3 since the league first began in 2017. Though it’s not quite the same as traditional coaching, it’s a valuable experience that saw Payton display true leadership qualities on and off the court.
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This is a man who love and lives the game of basketball. There’s no way to tell the history of the sport without his place in it all and quite frankly, the San Antonio Spurs could use someone like him to instill better defensive values in the team. Even if he’s not one of the three primary assistants next to Popovich on the bench, Payton would be an excellent player development coach to start.
The player who I’d be most interested to see work with Payton is starting point guard Dejounte Murray. A Seattle-native, Murray grew up in a city that was personified by Payton’s playstyle for 13 incredible seasons. They’re similar players in that each of them has a defense-first approach to the game and allowed their offense to come along with time.
By this point, we know that Jamal Crawford is Dejounte’s mentor, but Payton would be an incredible coach to guide him through his personal progression. Payton was dedicated to the Seattle Supersonics as Dejounte is dedicated to the San Antonio Spurs. There’s plenty in common there and as time goes on, Payton can help Murray reach the heights that he did as a player.
Beyond Dejounte, Gary Payton would be a great voice to help every San Antonio Spurs player grow.