Jason Kidd, a California Bay Area native and a legendary point guard, may be looking to add another legendary point guard with Bay Area roots to the Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Kidd is considering adding Gary Payton, a longtime friend and a former Milwaukee Buck, as an assistant coach.
“I’m just seeing what kind of interest level he has in coaching at all, seeing where he’s at,” Kidd said. “You’re talking about one of the best competitors in the game.”
Payton was at the center of what can only be described as a disastrous trade for the Bucks. The Hall of Famer came over with Desmond Mason from the Seattle SuperSonics at the trade deadline in 2003 in a deal that sent Ray Allen to the Pacific Northwest, along with Ronald Murray, Kevin Ollie and a first-round pick in 2003.
Payton’s tenure in Milwaukee lasted 28 regular-season games, during which “The Glove” averaged 19.6 points, 7.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 38.8 minutes a game while shooting .466/.294/.746.
Payton averaged 18.5 points, 8.7 assists, three rebounds and 1.3 steals in 41.8 minutes, shooting .429/.067/.700 as the Bucks were eliminated in six games by Kidd’s New Jersey Nets in the first round of the 2003 playoffs.
He then signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2003-04 season in his quest to win a championship ring, something he finally did in 2006 as a backup point guard for the Miami Heat.
Originally drafted second overall by the SuperSonics in 1990 out of Oregon State, Payton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. He led Seattle to the 1996 NBA Finals and was a 10-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year in 1995-96.
He has no coaching experience, but has been part of the effort to bring an NBA team back to Seattle since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008.