Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson appreciates Warriors teammate Gary Payton II on Twitter for Payton’s defensive prowess.
Being sidelined with a torn Achilles hasn’t stopped Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson from showing up for his teammates.
Rather than on the court, Thompson has been at the games to cheer on his teammates to a stunning 6-1 record. Tied with the Utah Jazz, the Warriors are the top team in the Western Conference — and that’s without Thompson on the court.
Until he returns to join Golden State’s “Big Three” sometime in November, Thompson has been shouting out his successful teammates.
After a thrilling 114-92 win over the formidable Charlotte Hornets, Thompson declared he could watch teammate Gary Payton II play defense “all night long.”
Warriors’ Klay Thompson on Gary Payton II: “I could watch [him] play defense all night long”
The son of NBA Hall of Fame point guard Gary Payton, Gary Payton II is an incarnation of his famous father with a nickname to match. “The Mitten”, a reference to the elder Payton’s nickname of “The Glove”, has had a starkly different career to that of his father.
The 28-year-old Payton II entered the NBA in 2016, but he has struggled to find a home on any NBA franchise. Payton II joined the Milwaukee Bucks in 2017, but he only played for a few weeks that winter before being waived. In January 2018, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Payton II to a two-way contract. Payton II finished that season with the Lakers, but failed to stay on in Los Angeles.
The short stints continued, with Payton II making appearances with the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Wizards, and several NBA G League teams.
His success with the Warriors has been limited as well. Payton II had to prove himself on the Warriors this April with two back-to-back 10-day contracts, only to have the team waive him shortly before the 2021-22 season. After clearing waivers, the Warriors signed him on Oct. 19.
What has been described as an “improbable, stunning rise” for the son of the NBA legend is only being propelled by Thompson’s ringing endorsement. To sweeten the moment, a proud Gary Payton also commended his son on a “great job.”
For Payton II’s sake, the hope is that the young point guard can finally find lasting success in The Bay with one of the NBA’s most dominant franchises.