Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Next Big Thing: Gary Payton Jr

Rarely do basketball players going into off seasons that can change their career take the time out to talk to 15 year old kids they don't know, and almost none take the time out to get to know that kid, and I bet out of those maybe one told the kid he'd do an interview for him and lived up to that promise, well meet Gary Payton Jr, a kid himself. Gary Payton Jr, has been through a lot this passing summer, where to go, what to do, and why? Well Gary has been dealing with the stress and more than that he's embraced it, Gary's living in the moment and doing it up like his dad "Livin' Legal and Large".

Payton Jr scored points with me when I asked him "Do you think you can have the fire and passion that your dad had playing the game?" He then answered "Yes I do think I can carry the same fire & passion and probably even more; because I'm dedicated to being the best I can be!" 

To have more passion than his dad is unbelievable this kid's the man!

Gary Jr plays like his dad, he's less of a scorer but more of a rebounder, he reminds me of the mature GP from around 03, he makes the simple passes, he can still make flashy plays but chooses the one that helps his team more, he can dunk but uses simple lay-ups GPJR is the perfect fundamentalist in a world where fundamentals are dying out, and he gets his teammates involved instead of scoring himself, he is the next carrier of "The Secret". GP tries as hard as he can and it shows. GP carries himself like a professional and is very kind, he has the swagger to become a fan-favorite and the skills too, so let's see what happened during the interview and then we'll rave about him some more! 

I'm good, feeling more focused than I've ever been. Thanks for asking.

2. How's Your Family?
My family is good were very close so I've just been enjoying the summer with them.

3. Would you mind telling us about your hometown?
Well Chicago is my hometown & where most of my family resides. I love it there, it's just an amazing place. I'm now living in California, it was a big change for me but worth it. Living here has given me better opportunities for myself & my family.

4. How was growing up as "Gary Payton's Son"?
Growing up as Gary Payton's son has it's challenges but the older I get the more I realize I have to be my own person and cast my own shadow. I feel as normal as other kids without famous dads feel. My mom and dad keep me grounded and humbled.

5. Was it ever overwhelming?
At times but I've learn to cope with it, gives me a tougher shell I guess.

6. No one knows what college you are going to, would you care sharing?
 Right now I'm at a JC. [Junior College]

7. Why did you pick Junior College?
One I wanted to raise my GPA and to build my work ethic.  Sometimes you are born with talent but you have to work at building a strong work ethic in order to succeed at a higher level.  And that's part of what the JC is helping me do.

8. When did your Basketball career start?
Wow I've been playing since birth I would say haha but probably around three-four years old I started picking up the ball.

9. What brought you to play Basketball?
Seeing my dad play ball made me want to play too. I've always wanted to be like my dad on the court. Also my mom encouraged me to do something I loved and I found that in basketball.

10. We Know you're a bulls fan, but who are your favorite players and biggest influences? 

Mannn, I have alot haha but off back Jordan and my father are my top two favorite players. I also like Earl Monroe and Oscar Robertson from way back. All of them have had big impact on me and are my biggest influences.

12. How did they affect your game and who you are today?
Seeing the hard work that all of them put into their craft made me want to work harder to  perfect my craft. They've all shaped me into a hard and dedicated worker but mostly my dad from seeing all that he went through and accomplished.

13. What do you feel your best skills are? I would say the best part of my game is my defense. I love defense, without it you wouldn't be able to win. I'm more of a mid-range shooter on offense but I am also deadly from outside. I am also a slasher, so I can get to the rim and create something.  I can honestly say that I'm well on my way to having a well-balanced game. I just have to keep putting in the work.

14. How did those become a part of your game?
Well I felt like the defense was always instilled in me so I just honed in on it. I've always been able to get to the rack being a smaller and quick guess. I've been working on my shooting and dribbling because that's what I need being a point/shooting guard.

15. What do you hope to bring to the college basketball scene?
I want to bring excitement, entertainment, & hard work to the college scene. I'm so fascinated with the older generations of ball players and I feel that's what they bought to the game so I want to revamp that.

16. Is/Are there any player(s) that you want to face or play with?
I want to get a chance to play with Dwayne Wade & Derrick Rose those are to of my favorites; but I would also love to play against them.

17. Do you think you will adjust to the college game quickly?
Yes I do! I feel that I have to because it's what I've been working hard to do!

18. If you could be one athlete who would it be, and why?
Well I wouldn't be any athlete but myself, I think God did a great job with me haha.

19. Is there anything that you want to show people?
No, it's things I want to show myself. I just really want to see what I'm made of.

20. Has basketball ever taught you anything?
I feel that basketball has taught me that I have to work hard and continue to do so if I want to be the best I can be.

21. Coming from a tough area did you ever doubt yourself?
Yes. When I was younger I doubted myself alot. I feel that my family has helped me to build my confidence up. Now nothing can stop me!

22. Growing up if you could only watch one player, who would it be and why?
Ummm probably Michael Jordan because thats who I've come so a costumed to watch being from Chicago.

23. Are any of your brother's playing ball, Julian or Gary II?
Yes we all are playing ball.

24. Are they going to play college ball, well Gary II I know Julian is younger?
Well as far as I know I'm pretty sure they want to play college ball.

25. Is basketball a huge centerpiece in your family?
I feel that it is seeing that my father played so it's only right that we follow it.

26. Do you ever play games with your dad?
Yes and it's very competitive haha.

27. Did Gary take it easy or carry on the Mr.Mean stuff and always play his hardest?
 Oh he always plays his hardest that's the way he is.

28. Is there any type of play you like to run allot?
I like the pick & roll, it works very well if you can read the defense.

29. what's your favorite part of basketball, If you can narrow it down!
My favorite part is defense by far! I love it!

30. How are you so athletic?
It's all God and I think it's in my genes haha.

31. When and where did you learn how to read passes that well? Your too good at this stuff!
Well it's comes with hard work and just being aware. Key people have helped me improve my game throughout the years.

32. you drive to the hoop like a crazed Manu Ginobili, where did that come from? (because many say driving cannot be taught).
 Well I've always been small so I had to learn to maneuver through the defense.

33. Who is the best in your family?
 My dad is still the top dog in the house haha hands down! I think once we can beat him then well see!

34. Do you ever get compared to your dad, and does it get annoying?
Yeaa I do! He's my twin haha but yeaa I do on and off the court! It doesn't annoy me tho!


Now that you know more about GPJR let's talk about his skills and moves again!

Jr is full of the intangibles, he has length, size, hustle, and passion, not to mention skill, he brings leadership to the table, can handle himself in front of the media and also attacks the rim like he was a bull and it was painted red! Him and his brother are similar styles but different variations, both play like GP but one is more simple 2000's GP and one is more early 90's GP,  If you want 00's GPJR is the way to go.

GP's signature move was the spin, hopefully JR can put it in his game and use it the same way GP did!

GPJR has the confidence of a star and showed it when he mentioned that the only athlete he wants to be is himself, something I find interesting when I thought that the player I wanted to be most was his dad!

 GPJR also mentioned that his favorite part of basketball is defense, do I sense a rival to Jrue Holiday's "Baby Glove" nickname? Or better we can call him "The Mitten"!

GPJR plays his hardest no matter who he's facing, is a tireless worker and made it impossible to tell you anything you don't know about him by reading the article, so let me just tell you he is a talented youngster, the type I would want on my team, he works at everything he does, he's no procrastinator and he can do anything you want him too.

Gary won points with me throughout the whole thing, and every answer brought more understanding of him, I like the way he thinks as it seems like he could be the rebirth of fundamentals and bring some old school ethics back into a material game. Gary Payton Jr made the interview enjoyable, he was right on point and he has skill and passion, to any aspiring athletes reading this, follow in his footsteps and know that you can do it, no matter what "IT" is!

Thanks to Gary Payton Jr for making this possible, and for playing basketball the way it should be played!



Gary Payton Jr. said...

The Mitten here checking in haha thanks again for the support and the great article. The Sports Boys will always have my support good looking out.
GPJR out!

ZiggyB said...

This was extremely inspiring,Id love to hear about more interviews. GPJR, It was very kind of you to take the time and do this interview. Thank you, I look at Basketball much more seriously. Thanks The Sports Boys for all of this and thanks to GPJR once again for doing this to inspire all the young ball players.

TheGlove_20 said...

Thanks to the both of you! You both helped me do what I do and make it more enjoyable and thanks to all the fans!

Gmoney said...

This was really good. It taught me a lot about Gary Payton Jr. The Sport Boys should do more of these. Also you guys should have a video to go along with ur next interview. But , overall the questions were really good. Looking forward to next big interview. Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey great interview. It's was really inspiring

Anonymous said...

This right here is a sports legacy at its best! GP Jr, it seems the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree. Your father's fire, intensity, drive and confidence defined 1990s basketball and I'm proud to say I met and interviewed my idol GP in 2000 at a game in NJ when I was in college. I'm looking forward to following your success JR. Hopefully when you're drafted it will be by the new Seattle Supersonics. Kudos to your father for keeping the fight alive to bring the Sonics back to Seattle.
- Gregory Van Voorhis

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