Gary Payton cursed at Dwyane Wade… because he likes him
Payton’s quest for a championship took him to Los Angeles, where the Lakers made the Finals before being thwarted by a stingy Detroit Pistons squad. By 2006, The Glove found himself in South Beach with his Laker teammate Shaquille O’Neal and the Flash, Dwyane Wade.
Payton looked at Wade like a little brother, and like all old brothers, he wasn’t afraid to fight with him.
As Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune notes, Payton wasn’t afraid to curse at Michael Jordan, so why would he hesitate doing so with a youngster like Dwyane?
In a recent interview with the Tribune’s Thompson, Payton recounted a story from April 30th, 2006, during a first round playoff game between the Heat and the Chicago Bulls. Gary and Dwyane weren’t on the same page, and he made sure to let him know about it:
“(Wade) went and made a bad pass and I wasn’t at the spot. I’m the old-school guy on the team and he started yelling at me. I had to make him understand, ‘I’mma tell you something. I’m the old school here. I’m a legend … you coming up.’ So we argued and I cussed him out.”
The tough love ended up sitting just fine with Dwyane, who eventually apologized to Wade:
“‘OG, man, that was my fault, man. I just want to win,’ ” Payton recalled Wade saying. “I respect that more for when he said that than for a young kid to come and holler at me and try to be like you the big wheel and you haven’t did anything yet. You haven’t even won a championship yet. That’s the year we won the championship. He just showed me right there that he has a lot of heart, he obviously knows how to win, but he has respect too.”
Gary Payton finally had his ring, and a lifetime bond between two greats from separate eras was set in stone.