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Gary Payton thinking about getting into coaching

Jun 7, 2010, 4:13 PM EDT

gpayton.jpgAfter he retired, Gary Payton went to Vegas. And settled down.

Sounds like an oxymoron to people who have only spent a drunken, ultimately penniless night on the strip. But Vegas has grown into a big city, with suburbs and people who make their livings as dentists and mechanics and Thai restaurant cooks. People who rarely venture into the strip, and if they do it’s just to see a show.

Payton has been living that quiet life in Summerlin, one of those suburbs. Just being a dad and a husband, having friends over to swim in the pool and play some darts.

But he tells the Las Vegas Sun he’s thinking about getting back in the game.

“I basically said that when I was going to retire, I was going to take my time — I wasn’t going to jump back into basketball,” he said. “Now, it’s about time for me to get back to what I want to do. I want to get a good job in coaching, move to a city where I think I can help younger kids and I think that’ll be my next thing to do in the next year or so….”

One area where Payton sees himself as being potentially quite valuable to younger pros is in teaching defensive principles.

If anyone should be a good defensive teacher for young point guards, it’s “the glove.” The hand checking and other rules may be different, but the basic rules of defense are the same. And right now, a good defensive guard is a very valuable commodity in a league where so many offenses are based off dribble penetration.

Plus, it would just be nice to have Payton around the game again.

  1. jeb - Jun 7, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    absolutely. loved the glove and the intensity that he played with for most of his career. in a league where defense has been sliding overall in the league it is always the teams that can separate themselves with individual as well as team defense that have successful players and teams.

  2. john - Jun 8, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Being a great player does not always translates being a great coach. If Mr. Payton works hard as he did in his game to coaching, then he will attract a following based on his pass. My advice get a salty old dog that he can learn from and attend as many coaching clinics as possible. Biggest sucess to all the kids is having assistant coaches which can follow your lead. best wishes (its about filling the kids dreams).

  3. Aaron - Jun 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Gary was a tremendous player…I just worry about his communication skills. Thank goodness he’s not doing that show with Chris Webber anymore. They got to talking over each other and laughing…their speech was an unrecognizable form of English. It was terrible lol. Gary don’t be a sports analyst…please. As far as coaching…when I think about Gary communicating with his players…I think he might be able to get his point across to them. I worry about how he would handle media and his GM. But…what do I know. I’m just another white guy who couldn’t jump and only played high school ball. Hope I’m wrong. Go Gary!

  4. Don Ho - Jun 8, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Gary pick your pocket Payton. He was an awesome player. Call up mr Dan Gilbert and come here to Cleveland Ohio and help coach the greatest team in the league to win multiple NBA Championships. Tell Phil Jackson to or Larry Brown to come along with you. Good luck in all that you do Gary P.

  5. Giles - Jun 9, 2010 at 3:16 AM

    Yes, Vegas may be a boozy fantasy, filled with vice, but Las Vegas is a real, and very rapidly growing, city, with a lot of Runnin` Rebels fans who would support an alumni association team in the Nba, if the local dignitaries can get the commissioner past the notion the locals would call their Nba team The Rat Pack, or Ocean`s Eleven (which is more likely what they`d call their Nfl team). Denver coach Karl often talks against former all stars going directly to head coaching bad teams, but if Gary would go directly to assistant coaching a good team, under Karl or someone else, he might make an interesting contribution.

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