Newly minted, soon to be inducted Hall of Famer Gary Payton is a Damian Lillard fan.
“I like Damian Lillard because he’s from Oakland, California, and he’s a phenomenal basketball player,” Payton told ProBasketballTalk last January. “He should be the rookie of the year, he’s playing very well right now for Portland and I love his game.”
Now arguably the two best point guards ever to come out of Oakland may get together this summer and work out, tweets Mike Tokito of the Oregonian.
Lillard spent the last week at the Team USA mini-camp in Las Vegas, where in the Blue and White scrimmage Thursday he got in a first quarter duel with Kyrie Irving.
Working with Payton would be a very good thing for Lillard — his challenges are not on the offensive end of the court, rather it is his defense. Payton, “The Glove”, is headed to the Hall of Fame in part because of his defense. Granted, the physical, in-your-face, contact-filled defense Payton used on Michael Jordan would draw foul calls now, but there are still techniques and tactics Payton could pass along.
Payton worked with John Wall last summer, particularly on his jump shot and when to use it. At the end of last season, when Wall finally got healthy, his jumper looked good.