Gary Payton thinking about getting into coaching


gpayton.jpgAfter he retired, Gary Payton went to Vegas. And settled down.

Sounds like an oxymoron to people who have only spent a drunken, ultimately penniless night on the strip. But Vegas has grown into a big city, with suburbs and people who make their livings as dentists and mechanics and Thai restaurant cooks. People who rarely venture into the strip, and if they do it’s just to see a show.

Payton has been living that quiet life in Summerlin, one of those suburbs. Just being a dad and a husband, having friends over to swim in the pool and play some darts.

But he tells the Las Vegas Sun he’s thinking about getting back in the game.

“I basically said that when I was going to retire, I was going to take my time — I wasn’t going to jump back into basketball,” he said. “Now, it’s about time for me to get back to what I want to do. I want to get a good job in coaching, move to a city where I think I can help younger kids and I think that’ll be my next thing to do in the next year or so….”

One area where Payton sees himself as being potentially quite valuable to younger pros is in teaching defensive principles.

If anyone should be a good defensive teacher for young point guards, it’s “the glove.” The hand checking and other rules may be different, but the basic rules of defense are the same. And right now, a good defensive guard is a very valuable commodity in a league where so many offenses are based off dribble penetration.

Plus, it would just be nice to have Payton around the game again.

Hezonja throws down one-handed dunk in preseason debut

Orlando Magic Introduce 2015 NBA Draft Picks
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Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:

Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffers dislocated shoulder in preseason game

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Solomon Hill
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Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:

A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:

Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.