After being named a finalist for the Hall of Fame Class, Gary Payton took some time to speak to the media. While Payton addressed the potential move of the Sacramento Kings to Seattle (which he stated he feels pretty confident about), his potential naming to the NBA Hall of Fame, and his wish to participate in anything that involves Seattle basketball, the most interesting comments came when the name John Wall was brought up.
Wall stated a few weeks ago that he had a lot of contact with Payton and had been learning a lot from him, Gary felt the criticisms of Wall not being a franchise player (from David Falk and Stan Van Gundy) were largely unfair. Payton further went on to say that he would be working with Wall during the offseason in order to help him improve the aspects of his game (namely defense).
Payton seemed nothing but optimistic when it came to the kind of player that Wall will turn into.
“That guy reminds me of myself. He’s very long, he can score, he’s got a good knack for the basketball, he just needs somebody to teach him how to play defense.”
Check out the entire video below (with the Wall remarks starting around the 6:25 mark).