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Gary Payton on becoming an assistant coach: “I’m getting interested now”

Jul 31, 2014, 1:51 PM EDT

Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony - Press Conference Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony - Press Conference

The question isn’t “does Gary Payton have the basketball knowledge to coach in the NBA?” If you’ve ever spoken to the Hall of Famer, you know he does.

The question is the lifestyle — an NBA assistant coach spends a lot of time watching and breaking down film, working with guys late after practice, putting in long hours and dealing with a lot of travel for not a ton of money or glory. It’s a grinding job.

Does Payton want to make that sacrifice?

There is reportedly interest from Jason Kidd in Milwaukee and Byron Scott in Los Angeles as they fill out their coaching staffs, and Payton said on Fox Sports 1 Wednesday that he is 50/50 on the idea.

“This stuff is just rumors right now,” Payton said. “I went to Summer League and I was with Jason (Kidd) for a long period of time and we had a couple of conversations.

“I’m getting interested now. A lot of guys knew I wasn’t interested in coaching, but now I’m getting a little interested. I see these young guys out here that needs some help and some guidance from a guy like me. It’s there, but I like what I’m doing right now, I like Fox Sports 1.

“It’s just talk right now. I got to put my mind to it, I got to think about making sacrifices and doing other things. But you know if I get into basketball I don’t know what will happen. I could be a head coach in three, four, five years I just don’t know.”

Payton lives in Los Angeles much of the year now, that seems a more likely landing spot than Milwaukee, despite the ties to Kidd.

Back when he played, “The Glove” was known as a defensive stopper, but the hand check and contact on the perimeter rules are enforced differently now. Payton has told PBT he’s not sure how well he could defend in today’s game — he had great battles with Michael Jordan but he could get physical with MJ in a way that just can’t be done anymore.

Not that Payton couldn’t help a lot of guys with defensive positioning, fundamentals and knowing the system. Plus, don’t forget Payton was just an all-around great point guard at both ends. The man knows the game.

Does he want to coach it is the question.

  1. sfsugator - Jul 31, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    because basketball is charmin soft.

  2. money2long - Jul 31, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Good thing he has no hair to pull out.

  3. spursareold - Jul 31, 2014 at 3:21 PM

    I’m always skeptical when someone who was never interested in coaching suddenly is. They’re usually a) out of money or b) bored. Neither is a good recipe for a coaching hire.

  4. csbanter - Jul 31, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    GP would be better off going to Milwaukee, he can’t do anything for Steve Nash or Jeremy Lin.

  5. stayhigh_247 - Jul 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Business and friendship don’t always mix, I would go the L.A route first.

  6. campcouch - Jul 31, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    bank account must be getting thin. even millionaires can’t live forever in Cali without incoming revenue. go to the Midwest and stretch that dollar man!

  7. j0esixpack - Jul 31, 2014 at 7:07 PM

    I’ll give Peyton more credit than Kidd etc – he’s willing to pay his dues as an assistant whereas other players turned coaches want to step right in as head coach

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