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Gary Payton pens epic, NSFW tale about Pat Riley, Heat Culture

Heat, Gary Payton, Pat Riley

Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton was an aging veteran when he came to the Miami Heat ahead of the 2005-06 season.

However, Payton certainly had a dated history with then-Heat coach Pat Riley.

The Glove explained his relationship with Riley in a piece for The Players’ Tribune, and also elaborated on what the famed Heat Culture really means:

Heat Culture isn’t just about winning.

It’s about how you win.

It’s crawling to the finish line if you have to. It’s leaving NOTHING in the tank. It’s being in the best fucking shape of your LIFE. It’s always wanting more: out of yourself, out of your teammates, even out of the game. It’s being that type of guy where they might talk bad about you in the media — about your attitude or your ego or whatever it may be — but Pat knows you’re going to give him that BULLY on the court.

Payton added the very essence of Heat Culture is defined by Riley’s gritty approach to winning and his sheer passion for competing.

There is a concerted effort, Payton said, to make the team feel more like a family. He explained how Miami’s mix of veterans and young stars like Dwyane Wade jelled during that championship season in 05-06.

Payton closed by suggesting that Heat team is similar to the current squad, which will attempt to climb back from a 3-1 deficit on Thursday night in Orlando.

Miami has its back against the wall facing LeBron James and a motivated Los Angeles Lakers team. However, Payton feels the Heat have the fight and dogged ruggedness to climb back into the series.

For the Culture, as it were.