This Sunday, former Boston Celtic Gary Payton will be enshrined into The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Recently, he was interviewed by Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports and had some fantastic answers/comments to a wide range of questions. He discussed some elements of his speech, said that John Stockton was more difficult to defend than Michael Jordan and thinks his 1996 Seattle SuperSonics took the Bulls too lightly in the Finals. When asked which point guards he likes in today’s NBA, GP offered the following response:
Q: There are a lot of really good point guards in today’s NBA. Who do you really like?
A: ”I’ve always liked Deron Williams because has the same mentality as me. They don’t play defense like we did. But [Williams] does do it on both ends of the floor and wants to. …I like him a lot. Another guy I like a lot and a lot of people think I dislike him is [Rajon] Rondo. He can’t score like I did, but he does everything else like I did.”
That’s some lofty praise from one of the greatest point guards to ever play the game. If one would know, GP certainly would. Now, his memory might be a bit foggy since it’s obvious why people would have thought that he wasn’t a huge fan of Rondo’s game. When the C’s won the title in 2008, GP felt a bit differently about Rondo than he does now. (Check out the video below from 2008). Obviously, Rondo has elevated his game to higher levels since the run in 2008, so GP is likely adjusting his opinion along the way. That makes it more impressive that Rondo would be one of the first names he mentions. At any rate, this is some very welcome and much lighter news in comparison to the ugly and unfortunate Jared Sullinger story from earlier today.