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Gary Payton rips former Supersonics owner Howard Schultz

Sep 15, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

Gary Payton Getty Images

Gary Payton was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame last weekend, and while he won the lone championship of his career as a member of the Miami Heat, there was little question that he’d go into the Hall as a Seattle Supersonic.

Payton played more than 12 seasons in Seattle, and maintains passionate feelings about the city to this day.

He remains unhappy about how things went down surrounding his trade to Milwaukee, and the ownership situation that eventually saw the team relocated to Oklahoma City.

From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe:

“He just messed up our whole [franchise] and people did leave Seattle alone when he owned the team,” said Payton. “That’s why he had to sell it again, because he was struggling. He made a lot of silly moves and the first silly move was getting rid of me.”

Payton was 34 and in the final year of his contract when the Sonics dealt him and Desmond Mason to Milwaukee for Allen, Ronald Murray, Kevin Ollie, and a first-round pick that became Luke Ridnour. Payton finished his career with the Bucks, Lakers, Celtics, and finally two seasons with the Heat.

“I wasn’t asking for a lot; I never asked for a new contract [before my previous one expired],” Payton said about his final season in Seattle. “All I asked was whether we were going to get an extension [in the offseason] and [Schultz] made it seem like, ‘I don’t care about you no more, you’re nothing.’ So, that’s what happened. He [saw] that wasn’t the right way and the whole franchise went downhill from there.”

Payton doesn’t come off as bitter, but rather as someone who never wanted to leave Seattle. And he’s clearly still upset with Schultz for that, even all these years later.

  1. jimthebuilder27 - Sep 15, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Seattle fans really got screwed over.

    But Seattle benefited the most from that horrible trade, and George Karl is apparently still hated by Milwaukee fans.

  2. asimonetti88 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Bennett had some slimeball tactics to get the Sonics to OKC.. But the real scapegoat of that ordeal is Howard Schultz.. He is the one that deserves the most blame.

  3. drewdatwit84 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Seattle is the most awesome and devoted city I’ve ever seen for fans of ALL their sports (even the Sounders soccer team pulls massive crowds).

    They deserved better than for the Sonics to leave. I hope they get another NBA team. They should move one of these long-suffering teams up there and bring in new leadership up there.

  4. mrlaloosh - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Last name Schlutz. That should tell you everything you want to know.

  5. watermelon1 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    One of the best, and also one of the most fun to watch and listen to on the court.

    Him and Sam Cassell going at it. Doesn’t get much better!

  6. kb2408 - Sep 15, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    Seattle, with the Glove and the Reign Man, were sweet! They were one more player away from winning a title.

    • tmktwo - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      No team in Seattle with Payton was going to win anything. He was not a leader.and never will be!

  7. flexnfx - Sep 15, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    In a perfect world…
    1. Schultz never gets his hands on this team
    2. GP retires a Sonic….
    3. Clay Bennett is unable to spend his wife’s trust fund money (and he’s the one without a team)
    4. Seattle still has the SuperSonics

    supersonicsconspiracy blogspot com

  8. kidsamoa260 - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Howard is just one to blame, mayor Nichols and David stern are just as crooked!

  9. titansbro - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    No they were Michael Jordan away from winning a title. No one was beating the Bulls in the 90’s unless Jordan was shagging fly balls.

  10. rajbais - Sep 15, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Schultz With terrible because he can’t wait to much about character or anybody who looked like he had a bad image.

    The Gold Club incident Was a perfect example of that. Patrick Ewing was a part of it and was not welcome back to Seattle.

    Although I could understand why he did not want to bring that Ruben Patterson, but they did not do a good enough job of replacing him after 2001.

  11. bigbamboom1 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Former irrelevant player complaining about former irrelevant owner? This is news for what reason? What am I missing here? We stopped caring about both of these fellas a decade ago!

  12. sweetnlow44 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    The reason the sonics no longer exist is 100% because of Howard Schultz. He’s a little baby who didn’t get his way so he made the whole city suffer because of it. Since he gave the team to okc I have not and will not ever spend a dime in a Starbucks. Eff him.

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