Skip to main content

Kevin Garnett On How Manipulative Gary Payton Was: "I Saw Gary Payton Control The Referee, His Coach, My Coach, The Crowd, The Lady In The Front... He Was Controlling The Whole Game."

Kevin Garnett On How Manipulative Gary Payton Was: "I Saw Gary Payton Control The Referee, His Coach, My Coach, The Crowd, The Lady In The Front... He Was Controlling The Whole Game."

Gary Payton is considered one of the best defensive point guards of all time. While Payton's primary role was to coordinate the offense, he was also adept at playing on the defensive side of the court. His skill on both ends made him a perennial All-Star, and one of the best players in the league during his time.

Much like Michael Jordan, Payton was an excellent trash talker. In fact, he is considered one of the best trash talkers in the history of the league. His verbal skills were a big part of his game and allowed Payton to be such a menace on the defensive end of the court.

A lot of the great trash talkers in the NBA post-2000s probably watched Payton do his thing. Many may have picked up their trash-talking abilities after watching Gary Payton play against some of the best players in the NBA and show no fear.

One of these players was Kevin Garnett. During an interview with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson for 'All The Smoke', KG described just how Payton was able to his talking and overall basketball IQ to manipulate the game at every level (45:18 mark). 

“I saw Gary Payton control the referee, his coach, my coach, the crowd, the lady in the front; he was controlling the whole game.”

Payton knew exactly what to say or do to get what he wanted. And that is why he was able to find success during his stint in the NBA. Payton was one of the best two-way players in the history of the league.

Payton was an NBA champion, a 9-time NBA All-Star and a Defensive Player Of The Year during his career. Much of Payton's success on the court was also because of his ability to get in his opponent's head with his trash talking.