Gary Payton says Clippers’ Patrick Beverley, Celtics’ Marcus Smart remind him of himself
Gary Payton’s playing days may have been long over, but he still sees his game in today’s NBA players — particularly from Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart and Los Angeles Clippers feisty defender Patrick Beverley.
In an interview with Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype, Payton revealed that Smart and Beverley remind him of himself.
“There are two: Marcus Smart and Patrick Beverley. They both remind me of myself. They’ll go at you,” Payton expplained.
“Beverley is a little bit different because he doesn’t have the offensive game that I had. But Marcus is starting to become that kind of player – he’s starting to score and shoot the ball. But both of them are dogs on the defensive end.”
Payton also mentioned his son, Gary Payton II, who is currently playing for the Washington Wizarrds. He noted that he sees a little of his playing style in him.
“My son, [Gary Payton II], has a little of that in him and he’s doing the same thing. He can get at you when he wants to and he’s long for someone who’s 6-foot-3, so his length will hurt you too,” he added.
The 51-year-old Hall of Fame guard also acknowledged that having a player like Smart and Beverley is a big thing for the Celtics and Clippers, respectively. After all, a guard who can defend like they do doesn’t always come often.
However, Payton pointed out that his Smart, Beverley and his son still need to work on their offense.
“When you have them type of guys who can play defense that type of way, it’s always a bonus for their team,” Payton shared.
“When you have a guy who can lock down like that, he’s always giving you great stuff on that end. But can they give you something on the other end? All three of them need to work on their offense. My son needs to work on it, Pat needs to work on it and Marcus is starting to become a good scorer to be a two-way player, but he’s still working on it too. But those three guys remind me of myself defensively.”
Payton spent most of his career with the Seattle SuperSonics, reaching the 1996 NBA Finals only to lose to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The former second-overall pick from the 1990 draft would wind up winning Defensive Player of the Year that same season he reached the Finals with the Sonics and late into his career.
Marcus Smart, on the other hand, has been a Swiss army knife for the Celtics for a few years now, filling the gaps in any way he can.