Payton refurbished a gym in Oakland and built a basketball court in Seattle. He's one of the most dependable players in the off-season charity game circuit. And if you're wondering how he'll adjust to a lineup with O'Neal, Bryant and possibly Karl Malone, his play in the charity and all-star games gives a good clue. He passes the ball to the young guys and lets them showcase their skills. Payton doesn't want the glory for himself. He only requires a couple of layups.
Which brings up the question: When's the last time Payton dunked during an NBA game?
"1977," Pope jumped in.
"I dunked in 2000," Payton said.
"He dunked on Artis Gilmore," Pope said.
That got the competitive juices flowing. Payton who already says that a championship will be the only satisfactory finish to the season, makes a prediction for opening night.
"I'm going to get a dunk that first game," Payton said. "I'm going to be so hyped."
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