Gary Payton was a nine-time All-Star during what ended up being a Hall of Fame 18-year career in the NBA. He spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat during an illustrious title-winning career.
Though, Payton is most known for the 13-plus years he spent with the Seattle Sonics teaming up with Shawn Kemp to form a Western Conference powerhouse.
Payton would ultimately find himself traded to Milwaukee a few years before the Sonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder. He has absolutely no ties to the organization in its “new city.”
Now, as talk about Payton potentially seeing his jersey retired by the franchise has heated up, it surely doesn’t look like he’s interested.
There’s definitely a lot of bitter feelings in the Pacific Northwest surrounding the Sonics’ relocation and rebrand, even nearly 10 years after the fact.
As one of the greatest players in franchise history, it looks like Payton shares those bitter feelings. Unfortunately, this now means he will not be recognized by the very same organization he helped put on the map.