Gary Payton II has given the Warriors exactly what they needed early in the season, and the 28-year-old had a stellar game Wednesday night in Golden State's 114-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets at Chase Center.
Payton II scored 14 points off the bench, including a thunderous jam on former Warrior Kelly Oubre that left Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in awe.
As any good father would, Gary Payton shouted out his son for a stellar performance.
Payton II was out of the NBA after being waived by the Warriors prior to the start of the season, but Golden State brought the Oregon State product back and the move has paid off.
On Wednesday, with Curry under the weather and the Warriors playing sloppy early, coach Steve Kerr turned to Payton II to give Golden State a spark.
“He dominated the game while he was out there and just changed everything with his defense, his activity,” Kerr said. “He had three steals, but I think he had several more deflections that may have led to steals.
“He is just an electric athlete. It’s hard to stand out on an NBA floor, athletically, because all those guys are the world’s greatest athletes. And he jumps off the page.”
From out of the league to a critical part of the Warriors' rotation in 16 days, Payton II is just doing whatever is asked of him to earn and keep his spot in the NBA.
“That’s what I’m here for,” Payton said. “Just to come in spark whatever we need to get our defense going.”