GP2 praises Steph for leadership, being ‘hell of a human being’ originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Gary Payton II’s tenure with the Warriors was short but certainly memorable.
The journeyman guard played this games for Golden State in the 2020-21 season before establishing himself as a key member of the Warriors’ 2021-22 championship team.
After winning the NBA Finals in June, Payton II signed a free agent contract with the Portland Trail Blazers this summer. He joined the former NBA coach George Karl on the “Truth & Basketball” podcast, where he was asked about playing with Steph Curry and what he learned from the Warriors’ superstar during his time with Golden State.
“Just to be a professional,” Payton said of what he learned from Curry. “He comes in, his work ethic is ridiculous and he stays poised, he’s always poised and calm, never panics, always takes the time to think about what’s going on, how to solve something or whatever’s going on in his life. down, takes the time to think, never rushes and is just a great human being all around on and off the court. You can talk to him like a regular dude off the court, he talks about life, family, golf, whatever he loves to do. And then on the court, he’s going to lead for you, he’s going to be that leader that you need, he’s going to show you by example and he’s going to go to bat for you. All around, (Steph) is just a hell of a human being. “
Karl then asked Payton what three lessons he learned from his time with the Warriors. Unsurprisingly, he learned a lot from watching the relationships between Golden State’s three superstars and the intangibles that only a championship team could possess that had an impact on Payton.
“Well, you have Stephen Curry, Draymond [Green] and Klay Thompson and now it’s starting to look like you’ve got Jordan Poole with it, he does the same thing, “Payton explained …” Draymond and Steph’s chemistry is different and with Steph’s ability to shoot from anywhere, you really don ‘t know how to guard them, because you’re focused on (Curry) and Draymond breaks it off and goes to do a dribble-hand-off to Klay or Jordan Poole.
“Be a pro. Like come in, know what you gotta do. Do your job. Come in, be professional, get your work in, stay ready, basically what we lived on was to stay ready last year, you didn’t know when your time was going to be called, so just stay ready. The third was just the will. We went through so much adversity, just the injuries at crucial times late in the season. Guys stepped up, just to be ready and know your part, when your number’s called, just be ready. You ain’t play in a week or so, whatever, you get in one game for a couple minutes, do what you gotta do to help the team. group of guys that understood that and sacrificed everything that season to put the team before themselves. “
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The Warriors’ organization once again proved, both physically and mentally, that they still have the championship mettle they’ve possessed for nearly a decade.
Payton will apply what he learned with Golden State to his new role as a key addition to the Trail Blazers’ rotation.
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