Gary Payton II's father needs no introduction. The OG Payton is part of the NBA's 75th Anniversary Team, which speaks to his impact and contribution to the game. With Gary Payton II's recent performances for the Golden State Warriors, it looks like the apple does not fall from the tree.
GP on GP II’s recent performances
Payton Jr.'s success right now is a feel-good story. The Golden State Warriors decided to sign him to a non-guaranteed contract, and it looks like the gamble is paying off. So far, GP Jr. is averaging 6.3 points, the highest of his career, two rebounds, an assist, and a steal. His energy on the floor rubs off on his teammates, and his plays excite the crowd.
Gary Jr. tries his best to contribute while the Warriors await Klay Thompson's return. He knows his role and sticks to it. The ability to knock down shots and attack the rim amazed the fans, as well as his Hall of Fame father, as reported by Monte Poole for NBC Sports.
Payton Jr. started his NBA journey in 2016, but it was only now that he got the opportunity to show what he's made of. It's easy for the sons of former basketball players to expect favors handed to them given their famous surnames, but Gary Jr. had to do it the hard way. GP II bounced off teams and played in G-League affiliates. For The Glove, he knew what his son could do; only he had not been given opportunities before.
"I'm happy that it's in the Bay Area, it's with a good Golden State team and they really found a place for him," Payton said. "They gave him the opportunity he needed. Those other teams wouldn't let him. I knew he could play in the league. He just had to have the right opportunity, and now he does."
Payton II: The gift that keeps on giving
Having experienced the harder route in the NBA, The Mitten wastes no time proving his worth. Naturally, a father throws support to his son, but Payton Jr. puts the work in, which shows in his recent performances. This season, he leads his team in plus/minus. He averaged 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.7 steals in the past three games while only playing 18 minutes on the floor.
Steph Curry initially lamented the team's lack of activities in the offseason. Still, with Payton Jr.'s electrifying performances as of late, it looks like the team is on the right track. It also looks like they might have another hidden gem on their hands. But only time will tell.