Former All-NBA center Wilt Chamberlain thought Gary Payton might make a similar contribution.

People believed Payton could have a similar approach to “Wilt The Stilt” because of his ability to affect both ends of the floor.

Gary Payton might be most known to contemporary NBA fans as a tough perimeter defender who surprised everyone by taking home the DPOY award despite being a smaller point guard. But his influence and impact went much beyond that impression. Vin Baker, a former All-NBA center, made a prediction that the nine-time All-Star would be as dominant on both ends of the court as Wilt Chamberlain in the 1990s. This statement highlights how much of an impact he had.


Gary Payton, as told by Vin Baker

Over the course of their five-year partnership with the Seattle Supersonics, Baker saw GP’s unwavering excellence. In four of those seasons, he finished in the Top 10 MVP candidates, and after averaging 22 points, 1.9 steals, and 8.6 assists per game, he was selected to be a member of the All-NBA Team each year.


In addition, like Chamberlain, Payton gave his teammates confidence by showing them that he could accomplish almost anything on the court.

In a SLAM story, Baker stated, “Gary’s capable of doing anything on the floor when he puts his mind to it.” “I recall Wilt Chamberlain stating that Gary might be the same player this decade—leading the league in assists and rebounds, for example. Take the league by storm in steals, scoring, or assists.”


As the “Greatest Trash-Talker,” Baker considered GP.

During their time together on Team USA in 2000, “Shake and Bake” had the honor of sharing the court with both Payton and Kevin Garnett during their professional careers.


As a spectator of their on-court skills and verbal jousting, Baker saw directly how their constant trash talk might penetrate their opponents’ minds. The 6’11” center was glad that he was spared their verbal abuse, but he still appreciated their capacity to penetrate the opponent’s mentality. In the end, he decided that Payton was the best trash-talker, choosing him above The Big Ticket.


“I would accompany Gary since there is no one he wouldn’t do it to… Pippen, I can’t believe he’s pursuing MJ. Some of the people he targeted, including Malone, were captured on camera during the playoffs in 2000, according to Baker. “It’s not just regular trash talk; it’s violent trash talk,” Baker said. “I think KG had some limitations, but Gary had no limitations.”


Baker was deeply impacted by Payton’s demeanor, whether it was through verbal sparring with the NBA’s best players or showing off his skills on both ends of the court. Baker never held back while bragging about his time spent playing with what is perhaps the best defensive point guard of all time.

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