In the 2000-2001 season, the Sonics swept four games from the Lakers who went on to win the NBA championship. In one game in LA, GP had 44 points and had Kobe looking sorry.
Despite the team becoming the first number one seed ever to lose to an 8th seed in the playoffs in '94 following their NBA best record season, Gary overcame adversity improving his game every season. Over four games that season, they swept the Houston Rockets, who went on to win the NBA Championship.
Gary had his one chance at an NBA Championship in 1996 when they went up against Jordan's Bulls. Gary is widely acclaimed for being the one player who could actually defend Jordan. That year GP was defensive player of the year.
Known as the best trash talker in the game, GP never made excuses when he failed, he constantly played through injuries-- missing only 4 games to injury in 12 and a half seasons with the Sonics.
Named All-NBA First-Team in 1998, 2000, All-NBA Second Team in 1995, 1996,
1997, 1999 and All-NBA Third Team in 2001
· Selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive seasons (1994-2001)
· Named Defensive Player of the Year in 1996 and was the first guard to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1987-88
· Selected to the NBA All-Star Team seven straight seasons (1994-98, 2000-01) and was voted as a starter in 1997 and 1998
· Member of the gold medal-winning 1996 and 2000 U.S. Men's Olympic Teams
· Scored his 15,000th career point vs. Philadelphia on 3/19/01, becoming the 88th player in league history to reach the milestone and just the eighth player in NBA history to compile 15,000 points, 6,000 assists and 1,000 steals.
· Played in the 1996 NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls
· Set an NBA Playoffs record with 13 three-point attempts in one half against the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the 1996 Western Conference Semifinals
· Named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in 1990-91 after averaging 7.2 ppg and 6.4 apg
Stats from nba.com
Recommended reading: Black Planet by David Shields I seem to focus increasingly on G. Payton, take notes only on G. Payton: "Behind-the-back pass – really nice." "GP fakes – fantastic fake." "Going into the lane: GP breaks the opposite of how anyone else would break." Five minutes after writing these words down, I have difficulty deciphering what they say or mean, but I seem to need to constantly try to translate Gary's actions into words, make him somehow understandable to me, make him mine.
Yo! Yo! Yo! AG! Did you get my voicemail? We need to get GP this piece. I am seriously saving it for him.
Send an email to GP (at his foundation) or in some other way, pass on this page and let GP know that we have a few select art pieces still in inventory.
In the tribute at the exhibition on April 12, 5 paintings attempted to relate some of the essence of the NBA legend Gary Payton. A video piece showed highlights and interviews. With his 6'3" 180 pound frame, he showed that will power, confidence and grace can overcome jumping ability and size.
This painting is titled simply "GP". I pasted down 8 inkjet printouts over a found canvas and coated that with epoxy. I added gold resin to elmers glue and created three figures at the bottom-- all trying to capture or emulate traits of G-- his sinewy body, his reptilian quickness, his balance. Remember that scene in the Matrix when Neo comes back to life, sees through the illusion and after throwing a high kick in the air to destroy the sentinel-- he slowly draws his leg down with grace and balance. That is the type of shit Gary does when saving a ball that is headed out of bounds. He uses every facet of his body to dance with gravity.
From the collection of Shannon Danilovich, "Adoration of Gary" shows GP in the upper left hand corner holding perfect defensive stance against Stephon Marbury-- any coach would love to have a player model their stance and technique after Gary. In the right, a figure throws up his arms as if in awe-- seemingly evacuating what looks to be an outline of his body on a lower level of the painting.
On a trip to Tikal in Guatemala I learned that the Mayan name for spirit guide is "Nahuala". This is my imagined portrayal of one of Gary's spirit guides. In the left bottom corner is a 35 millimeter photograph taken from a playoff game against the Spurs. During an altercation between huge Malik Rose and a young Sonic, Gary walked into Malik's face, past his punches-- displaying Art of War-esque technique to stop the fight.
Entitled "GP Orange and Blue", this painting has gone missing. Anne McCarthy was a fan of this piece, Anne do you have this? Where is it? Who knows?