2013 Naismith Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Gary Payton / John Stockton
Gary Payton on John Stockton (induction ceremony):
I’ve been getting a lot of [flak] for this guy here. Everybody’s been axing me why he is the toughest person to guard other than Michael–instead of Michael Jordan. First of all, it’s my opinion, so that’s the way it’s gonna go.
Just a little short story about him. He’s the only guy, when I got in the NBA and I wasn’t as good as I thought I was gonna be for the first two years, I watched him. And when I watched him, he’s a player that all kids should watch right now. I might’ve been more athletic than he was, but he did it the same way every night. Every night.
For a guy, for him to only play 32 minutes, come in and shoot the ball 12 times, makes nine or 10 of them shots, shoot eight free throws and make seven of ’em, and then have 15 assists and four steals, that’s the reason why he’s the hardest person I ever had to guard. And that’s why I respect him very much.
John Stockton on Gary Payton asking him to be his presenter (red carpet):
Really, kind of an ultimate sign of respect. We knocked heads for a long time together, Gary and I, and they were heated battles. They were tough battles. Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost, but I think the respect’s always been there, and for him to ask me here, it’s been a highlight for me.
John Stockton on playing with Gary Payton on the 1996 Olympic team (red carpet):
When you step out there in your different-colored jersey and it’s us against them, it’s, there’s, it doesn’t foster friendships very well, until later.
And then just to be able to ride on the bus everyday and shoot the breeze and to see how common our interests are and how our competitiveness is common, it made for a better friendship right then and there.