Much like his father, Gary Payton II has become renowned in the NBA for his defense. Playing for the Golden State Warriors, Payton II comes off the bench for the Dubs and provides intensity on the defensive end while bringing a great deal of athleticism on the scoring end.
Many consider Payton II one of the most important defenders for the Warriors who are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA this year. Golden State have even kept the opponents to under 50% shooting until their loss to the Phoenix Suns.
And Payton's athleticism has also helped him get some memorable dunks on the offensive end of the court. But what exactly is Gary Payton II’s role in the team?
According to Payton II himself, he can do it all. He said that while he isn’t a sharpshooter like Stephen Curry, he can perform at a high level in all other aspects of his game. Clearly, he thinks very highly of his own game, even saying that he is elite in every aspect other than shooting.
“I obviously don’t shoot like f*cking Steph Curry, bit I do damn near everything else elite.”
Payton has been very good so far for the Warriors in the minimal role he has played for them. And while some may feel that he is being slightly overconfident, this is the kind of mentality players in the past and present have needed in order to become incredibly successful in the NBA.
If anything, this mentality could help Payton II become even more critical to the Warriors, and even take the next leap in his game.
He is still fairly young in his career, and playing alongside all-time great players like Steph Curry and Klay Thompson (upon his return) will also be a good learning experience for him as he looks to take the next step in his career.