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Gary Payton Reveals Backstory Behind His ‘Glove’ Nickname

Gary Payton Reveals Backstory Behind His ‘Glove’ Nickname

Gary Payton is widely regarded as one of the greatest point guards of all time.

Although he was never able to win a championship with the Seattle Sonics, that was primarily due to Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan’s firm grip on the league at the time.

After a failed title run with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004, Payton went on to finally capture that ever-elusive NBA championship with the Miami Heat in 2006.

Because of his undeniable legacy and place in hoops lore, Payton has become one of the league’s more fascinating personalities in retirement.

During a recent interview, Payton discussed something of an interesting topic: how he earned his “The Glove” nickname.

“My cousin,” Payton said.

“My cousin. 1993, KG, we’re playing the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. At that time, Kevin Johnson was a premier point guard. He was averaging 27, he had just gotten All-NBA…

“Chuck is Chuck, you know what I’m saying. We playing against them, he just won the MVP. So I’m killing K Johnson right now, I’m holding him to like 14, 12 points. So we go and win Game 6, and force Game 7,” Payton continued.

“My cousin called me after the game, I had like 24, 10, or about 5. Kevin Johnson had about, 12, 6, and 4. And I’m eating him up, and the TV talking about it. And my cousin called me up like, ‘Glove, Glove, Glove.’

“I’m like, ‘Man, what is this man,’ I hung up on him. He called me back like, ‘Yo, don’t hang up the phone man, it’s yo cousin Glen.’ I’m like, ‘What’s up man, why you calling me Glove?’”

And that is when he got his answer.

“He was like, ‘Me and my frat brothers sitting here and they said you got Kevin Johnson like a baseball in a glove, so tight around him he can’t even move.’

“I said, that’s how my D really is, cuz I do get on people, and ever since then we ran with it. We started putting out gear… And then the NBA took off with the nickname.”

Payton is full of incredible stories. Whether he is breaking down Kobe Bryant’s perceived selfishness or naming the toughest NBA player he ever guarded – the man always keeps it real.

This was no exception.

What fun tidbits and anecdotes will he ultimately drop next?

Time will tell.

Related: Vanessa Bryant’s Newest Photos With Pau Gasol Go Viral

Anthony Amador

A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.
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