Phoenix Suns guard Cameron Payne will never forget the time that his old team, the Chicago Bulls, shamelessly suggested that he is not an NBA-caliber player. The 26-year-old floor general played with a chip on his shoulder since then and used it as motivation during the incredible journey that led him to the G-League, overseas, and eventually back to the NBA.
On Sunday, Payne re-tweeted that scathing statement that the Bulls brass wrote about his game.
Goodnight 🙃 https://t.co/uxCeOVVs4s
— Cameron Payne (@campayne) April 5, 2021
Before landing in Phoenix, Cameron Payne came over to the Bulls in 2017 in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The former lottery pick barely made an impact in three seasons in Windy City, averaging 6.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in just 67 games.
While his tenure with the Bulls did not exactly work out, it was surprising that they criticized their former player in such a crass manner. The former Murray State standout found himself outside the NBA after that critical review from his former employer. He spent time with the Windy City Bulls and Texas Legends in the G-League and even briefly took his talents to China for the Shanxi Loongs.
The Suns, however, gave him another shot last season and has become a decent backup for Chris Paul. in the 2020-21 campaign. In 37 games for the Suns, Payne has been averaging 6.9 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 3.7 assists, while making 47.1 percent of his field goals and 39.6 percent of his triples.
Those numbers aren't exactly star material, but Payne is indeed proving the Bulls' assessment of him wrong. The fact that he's making a serious contribution for the contending Suns shows he belongs in this league. The Bulls meanwhile continue to flounder at the bottom of the East's playoff picture.