Gary Payton says fans trash talk him on the street so he can trash talk them back
Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton was known as one of the toughest matchups on defense. The former 6-foot-4 defensive stalwart won the Defensive Player of the Award in 1995-96 as a guard.
The retired NBA star was hounding at his position and one of the better trash talkers in an era that was seemingly no-holds-barred on what could be said on the hardwood.
In his post-playing career, Payton, 51, says he has fans approach him trying to talk smack.
Fans Talk Smack to Payton For The Experience
Do random people ever come up to you on the street and talk trash to you, just so they can say that they’ve talked trash to Gary Payton?
GP: Yeah, that’s a lot of people’s main thing. They’ll see me somewhere and then they’ll say something to try to get me to go back and forth with them. Then, they’re like, “This is all I wanted! This is why I came up to you! They always say that you trash-talked a lot on the court, so we wanted to hear it and see if you trash talk everywhere!” You know if it’s someone who is trying to egg you on to do something. A lot of people, a lot of fans, will do things just because they want to see if they can push your buttons. Sometimes, you’ll go along with it and have fun with it; sometimes, you just have to let it go because some people let it get out of hand. But, yes, it does happen.
Payton retired after the 2006-07 season. He hung up his sneakers after winning a title with the Miami Heat the year prior.
The former NBA champion was a second overall pick after a standout college career with the Oregon State Beavers. Payton was a leader alongside Shawn Kemp on the Seattle Supersonics, leading them to the NBA Finals in 1996.