Has Gary Payton won a championship

Gary Payton

Gary Dwayne Payton Born July 23, 1968 in Oakland, California, is a retired American basketball player.

Payton was brought into the NBA in 1990 second in the draft by the Seattle Supersonics. At the Sonics, where he played until 2003, the 1.93 meter tall point guard spent his best time. Together with the German Detlef Schrempf and the high flyer Shawn Kemp, Payton formed one of the best trios in the league. Payton was considered one of the best defenders in the league, which is why he is also known by the nickname "The Glove" because he defended his opponents as closely and persistently as if they were enclosed in a glove. He played his most successful season in 1996. Payton was named the league's best defender that year, making him the first guard since Michael Jordan (1988) to receive the award. He also won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics and led his Sonics to the NBA finals, where they met Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls, who set a record for victories within a season that is still in place this year. The final series lost Gary Payton and the Sonics 4-2 after games. Four years later, Payton would win his second gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

When the success of the Sonics declined significantly a few years later, Payton publicly considered a change. In February 2003, the Sonics gave their superstar to Milwaukee, because it was assumed that Payton would not extend his contract, which expired in the summer. But the team from Milwaukee did not play very successfully either, so Payton moved again after the season ended. He wanted to finally win his first NBA championship and therefore switched to the Los Angeles Lakers of superstar Shaquille O'Neal, who won three championships at the beginning of the millennium. But nothing came of his dream of the championship, the Lakers lost the final against the Detroit Pistons 4-1, with Payton clearly losing out in the point guard duel against Chauncey Billups. After the end of the season, the Lakers gave the now 36-year-old Payton to the Boston Celtics, where Payton played until he moved to Miami. That season he hit his 20,000 point, a mark that only 28 other NBA pros had achieved before him. With the Miami Heat he succeeded in the 2005/06 season, the long-awaited win of the NBA championship. After winning the NBA championship, Payton hung on for a year before finally retiring from active sports.

In October 1996, Payton set up his own foundation, the Gary Payton Foundation, to help children who grow up in poor circumstances.

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