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Golden State Warriors point guard Gary Payton II proves yet again how dedicated he is to uplifting his teammates during the NBA Finals.
When Gary Payton II made the Golden State roster against all odds, he said there was one thing he set out to do: ” stick around — and make an impact.”
In a passionate letter for The Player’s Tribune titled, “This is for Dub Nation,” Payton II reiterated that one of his goals as a basketball player is to compliment his teammates with his own hard work and dedication.
“I’m antsy as hell to be out there with my teammates again,” Payton II said at the time while he was still recovering from injury. “Steph, Dray, Klay, Loon, JP, Wiggs, Andre … everyone. I feel blessed to be on this team.”
Now that Payton II is back on the court, he’s sharing once again that he’s just “trying to get it done for those guys.”
“I’m just trying to add to their legacy,” Payton II added.
Gary Payton II is the ultimate Warriors teammate
Payton II returned to the court in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, when Golden State roared back with a 107-88 victory. Payton II was a “substantial” part of that, as The Athletic’s Anthony Slater described him.
In Game 4, which the Warriors also claimed, Payton II’s loyalty was exemplified by the “beautiful, unselfish pass” he made to set up Steph Curry for a masterful three-pointer.
In profiling Gary Payton II for The Ringer, Seerat Sohi illustrated how Steph Curry and Gary Payton II, diverging NBA legacies who inherited key traits from each of their fathers, have now come together as a lethal combination in a critical moment for the Warriors.
The stats prove it: “Golden State outscored opponents by 16.9 points per 100 possessions when Curry and Payton shared the floor this season,” Sohi wrote.
Payton II may be there to add to the legacy of his teammates, but in a remarkable season, he’s now solidified his own.