Seattle SuperSonics Rumors
SLAM: Any untold All-Star Weekend stories? Gary Payton: [Laughs]. See, that’s why I’m glad there was no social media. When we were in our locker room or on our buses, we used to do a lot of stuff [like] good pranks. We used to talk about a lot of guys and do a lot of things, but it’s stories that you sit there and just talk to these guys and get to understand them. We always used to talk about who’s the No. 1 team and after this [All-Star] game you’re going to have to play us on Tuesday. And I’m going to get some reps because I’m going to bust you when I see you Tuesday. We used to always crack on each other and that was a big thing about me. I’m going in there imitating Karl Malone. He always used to wear jeans and cowboy boots, and when he went out there to practice, I put on his cowboy boots and his jeans; and they were big and would yell, ‘Rhinestone Cowboy.’ I used to always do that to him every time…I had his belt, everything, and then I put some tobacco in my mouth. We used to do all kinds of stuff, so it was real, real fun.
SLAM: If this was around during your time and you were asked to be a captain, who are the other four players you’re choosing? Gary Payton: [Laughs]. It depends because you know how it’s going to go. One person might pick and then my player might not be there. But if I would’ve had an opportunity to pick my four, I would’ve had to go with John Stockton, Karl Malone, Shaquille [O’Neal] and I’d probably try to get Allen Iverson.
SLAM: So you’d still want to play against guys like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson? Gary Payton: I want to play against those guys. It makes the game better when you don’t stay with the guys that are good as you are and it’s not an even game. When you play against guys you want to compete against, then that means you’re going to compete hard because you picked these certain guys and they say, ‘OK, you didn’t wanna pick me? We going go at it.’ So that’s what I want. I want to go at a guy that got the same mentality as me as that you didn’t pick me, I’m going to go at you every time in this game. And that’s what’ll make it very interesting.
Matt Velazquez: Can confirm @Chris Haynes report that Bucks plan to waive Gary Payton II on Mon. as his days of service run out. Per source, Bucks have their eye on another player to take his spot and need to move quickly to get him. New player on two-way would get pro-rated days (30ish) in NBA.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has inked an agreement with a private developer to renovate KeyArena so the venue could be ready for an NBA or NHL team. Durkan said at a news conference Wednesday that the deal with Los Angeles-based Oak View Group is the best path right now for Seattle to get an NHL team and bring back the SuperSonics. “I think we are here. I think we have the path,” she said.
Dressed in a dark suit and sporting a wide smile, Tim Leiweke — the former AEG exec and longtime L.A. sports power player — pressed pen to paper and delivered a message Seattle fans have been craving. “Ten years ago, you had your heart ripped out,” Leiweke said. “We’re going to get you a team.”