Skip to main content

Gary Payton explains why Rod Strickland is the most underrated player he had trouble guarding

"Hot Rod" was a baller!
Rod Strickland and Gary Payton

Rod Strickland and Gary Payton

The NBA has had such a huge number of amazing players and legends through its illustrious history that sometimes certain guys go unnoticed despite being incredibly talented. One of the most notable underrated guys in NBA history is Rod Strickland, and Gary Payton explained why he has immense respect for "Hot Rod."

Best non-All-Star ever?

When talking about some of the best players to never make the All-Star team, Rod Strickland's name has to come up quickly. The 6'3'' point guard spent his 17-year career playing for a lot of teams, but his best days were in Washington and Portland.

The shifty handle and scoring ability made Strickland a fan-favorite and matchup nightmare. Although he was well respected and regarded amongst his peers, Strickland never managed to make that leap to stardom and become a star.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

For years Rod would be consistent, and in the 1997-1998 season, Rod would have the best year of his career. Strickland averaged 17.8 ppg and 10.5 apg for the 42-20 Wizards. That would make him the assist leader, rewarded with All-NBA honors. But it was still not enough to make the All-Star team, which was pretty controversial at the time.

Gary Payton's toughest underrated matchup

Maybe Strickland didn't get the recognition he deserved from the media, but his opponents knew how good he was. In an interview with Colin Cowherd, one of the best defenders and point guards in NBA history, Gary Payton, gave Rod his roses.

Colin was interested if GP has that underrated guy that gave him trouble in his career, despite not being the biggest name, and Payton didn't hesitate a second:

"Rod Strickland. By far. Was a great point guard...He was getting to the paint whenever he felt like it and strong, very strong. He was really crafty. And you thought that you could do things to him, but you couldn't. You couldn't guard him like that. He was so underrated, and he didn't make the All-Star team, but he was good. In my office, I got Rod Strickland's jersey up because I respect him that much."

Gary Payton, The Volume

It's pretty nice to hear a legend like Gary Payton share such prominent compliments for Strickland. The fans loved his flashy style of play, scoring prowess, and playmaking ability from the point guard position, but it never resulted in a championship or All-Star appearance. But that doesn't mean he is not one of the sneakiest NBA talents that didn't get enough recognition from the world.

Bam Adebayo reveals the two players who he believes are on the same level as him defensively

Bam Adebayo reveals the two players who he believes are on the same level as him defensively

Adebayo says the Draymond Green and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only two players who can come close to doing what he does on defense

Portland TrailBlazers' legends: Clyde Drexler and Damian Billard

“From that moment, I knew it was possible”- Damian Lillard on passing Clyde Drexler’s Trail Blazers scoring record

Damian Lillard is set to break Clyde Drexler's Portland Trail Blazer scoring record next season.


Serge Ibaka shares an important lesson he learned from Derek Fisher

Ibaka is the type of player who never settles with what is in front of him. He constantly absorbs everything he feels will be beneficial for him. In the process, he became humbler and wiser

New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing

"I got aroused" — When Patrick Ewing testified in a strip club trial

Patrick Ewing admitted visiting the Atlanta strip club 10 times. His first time was in 1996 when he was in town for the Olympic Games

New York Knicks forward Latrell Sprewell

"One of the misconceptions about me is that I have this attitude problem" - Latrell Sprewell opens up about his off-court personality

Latrell Sprewell stressed that his fearless attitude on the court was far from who he was off of it.


Jerry West on how the Memphis Grizzlies almost picked LeBron James

Before Jerry West became general manager, the Memphis Grizzlies made a trade that hurt their chances in the 2003 NBA Draft.

Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin is not the solution to the Boston Celtics' woes

Blake Griffin is already past his prime and there's little he could do to impact the Boston Celtics' title aspirations next season.

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden

James Harden explains why he considers himself  "one of the most unselfish players ever"

James Harden talks about the upcoming NBA season for the Philadelphia 76ers, while also opening up about his mindset and the time he spent playing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the Brooklyn Nets