Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton has significant interest in joining an NBA coaching staff, making his intentions known to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes on Thursday.
“I have had conversations in the past about coaching, but the timing wasn’t right. I believe I now am ready to coach,” Payton said. “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.”
Payton played 17 NBA seasons and is recognized as one of the greatest defensive players in league history. He won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award in 1996, helped the Heat win their first championship in franchise history in 2006 and was named to nine All-Star teams in his career.
Payton’s son, Gary Payton II, played for the Wizards this past season and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Both Paytons are represented by agent Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management.
The elder Payton holds minimal coaching experience in the BIG3 but has no NBA experience on the sidelines to date. Still, his leadership, high IQ and competitive drive could entice teams that want to bolster their coaching or player development staff next season.
“I have knowledge to share and I’m ready to help,” Payton said.