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Payton Working To Get NBA in Seattle, Plans Charity Game

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Gary Payton
Seattle file

Seattleites can expect to see a lot more of former Sonics point guard Gary Payton in the next several months.


Payton said Tuesday  that he and former teammate Shawn Kemp are planning to hold youth camps in Seattle and hope to announce a charity game to be played in July.

“We know the Seattle fans are great,” Payton said. “They need some kind of basketball support out there. And we want to give it to them.”

It’s all part of Payton’s efforts to get the NBA back in Seattle. And he said he wouldn’t mind being an assistant coach for any future Seattle franchise.

“I really want to be back in Seattle, and be on a bench in Seattle,” Payton said.

Payton said he’s not sure he would ever want to be a head coach, but he is interested in coaching fellow point guards in the league.

“Basketball has changed a lot since my era,” Payton said. “They don’t play basketball the way I played.”

He said Deron Williams of the Utah Jazz is the closest thing in the league today to The Glove.

Payton said he hopes to announce the charity game in March.

Payton touched on a few other topics :

He will go into the basketball Hall of Fame as a Sonic. He is eligible for induction next year.

He would not attend an alumni event in Oklahoma City if invited. “I didn’t play in Oklahoma City,” he said. “That would be disrespect to Seattle fans. We never played there. Why would we go to Oklahoma City and give the fans that opportunity or privilege?”

His oldest son, Gary Jr., is preparing for college and is being recruited by Division 1 schools, but he might spend a year at a prep school in Arizona to get his academics in order.

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