Gary Payton II continues to impress on the pitch for the Warriors this season.
Payton claimed 15th and last place on the list outside of training camp, making an immediate impression and has proven to be a very valuable and versatile player from the bench.
His talent is obvious, but what really stands out is his humble attitude and desire to keep getting better. He is willing to learn from anyone with something to learn, including Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who passionately coached GP2 on the sidelines on Friday in the Warriors’ 118-96 win over the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center.
Immediately after the match, Payton joined Warriors Postgame Live where he was asked about the exchange.
“He just told me to play smart and be smart with my mistakes,” said Payton II. “If I can’t be smart with my mistakes I won’t be able to play. In the second half I listened, tried to play with my hands behind my back and not try to make a mistake. We know Chris [Paul’s] game and what he likes to do. Just try to play without making mistakes.”
Paul is notorious for error fishing, which is why Kerr wanted Payton to play extra careful against the seasoned veteran.
Payton finished the evening with 19 points in 26 minutes of action, shooting a very efficient 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from a 3-point range.
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The 29-year-old guard is on his fourth team in six years in the NBA and has put together, without a doubt, his best season yet with the Warriors.