Gary Payton: “Marcus Smart And Patrick Beverley Remind Me Of Myself” 

Photo Credit: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY Sports

Gary Payton: “Marcus Smart And Patrick Beverley Remind Me Of Myself” 

 

Gary Payton is one of the best point guards to ever play the game. Payton is a one-time NBA champion, a nine-time All-Star, and a two-time All-NBA first teamer. He also made the NBA All-Defense First Team in 9 consecutive seasons and won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1996. Because of his elite and pesky defense, he earned himself a special nickname – ‘The Glove’.

His great basketball IQ allows Payton to be a critic and to voice out opinions regarding today’s NBA and its players. In an interview with HoopsHype, Gary Payton was asked about which active players remind him of himself:

 

 “There are two: Marcus Smart and Patrick Beverley. They both remind me of myself. They’ll go at you. Beverley is a little bit different because he doesn’t have the offensive game that I had. But Marcus is starting to become that kind of player – he’s starting to score and shoot the ball. But both of them are dogs on the defensive end. My son, [Gary Payton II], has a little of that in him and he’s doing the same thing. He can get at you when he wants to and he’s long for someone who’s 6-foot-3, so his length will hurt you too. When you have them type of guys who can play defense that type of way, it’s always a bonus for their team. When you have a guy who can lock down like that, he’s always giving you great stuff on that end. But can they give you something on the other end? All three of them need to work on their offense. My son needs to work on it, Pat needs to work on it and Marcus is starting to become a good scorer to be a two-way player, but he’s still working on it too. But those three guys remind me of myself defensively.”

 

Marcus Smart is constantly improving on both ends of the floor and is showing what he’s capable of. Smart’s improvement has paid off last year when he made the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team. Patrick Beverley, unfortunately, did not. But Beverley has always been a consistent defensive player, and already bagged an All-Defensive First Team in 2017 and an All-Defensive Second Team in 2014. 

It is an interesting observation from Gary Payton. After all, he knows what type of player he is and what players resemble him the most. Smart and Beverley may not be as good on offense, but both of them have a similar reputation on defense as The Glove did in his playing days.

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