Gary Payton will be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame this Sunday following a career where he became one of the NBA’s most iconic figures with his stellar on ball defense, his run and gun offensive style with Shawn Kemp, and his ability to trash talk with the best of them.
Payton sat down with Yahoo! Sports’ Marc Spears to talk about all of that, and the current state of the Lakers, in which he had this to say about Kobe Bryant.
“[…] Kobe Bryant, to me, is still the best basketball player in my mind. He played with me and he was in my era. I still love him to death. He’s a little brother to me.”
Even with the emergence of guys like Lebron James and Kevin Durant, Payton still thinks Bryant is the best player in the NBA.
Payton would go on to say that he thinks that the Lakers are going to struggle for a few years and that losing in the Finals to the Bulls was more disappointing than losing to the Pistons with the Lakers in 2004.
Payton would play in three NBA Finals (1996, 2004,2006) and would win in 2006 with the Miami Heat. He averaged 16.7 points and 6.7 assists during career.
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