Gary Payton accepts varsity coaching job in his hometown – The Undefeated
Former NBA great player Gary Payton returns to basketball. The Hall of Fame point guard told The Undefeated he has agreed to a multi-year deal to become Lincoln University’s new head basketball coach in his hometown of Oakland, Calif.
“It’s a startup program and an independent private school where I can establish what I want to establish,” Payton told The Undefeated. “I don’t need to follow anyone to try to make a program something or to keep it going. I can start with my own program with whatever I want to happen.
“And the reason I took it is because it’s in Oakland, Calif.”
Located in downtown Oakland, Lincoln University is known for its business school and is launching a sports program next year. Payton hopes to program primarily Division I schools and eventually transform his program into a full-fledged Division I program.
“Everyone knows we are losing all kinds of sports here,” Payton said. “We lost the [Las Vegas] Raiders, the [Oakland] The As want to leave because we are not giving them an arena. the [Golden State] The warriors are gone. So, we need something to give courage to these people, to these fans. And especially a guy like me from Oakland, Calif., And what I’ve done in my career, I think a lot of people would be really, really excited about that.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest defensemen in NBA history, “The Glove” was nine times NBA All-Star, nine-time All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year 1995. He is also the leader. all-time Seattle SuperSonics for points, assists and steals, and won a championship with the Miami Heat in 2006.
Payton’s only coaching experience is with the Big3, where he plans to fulfill his coaching obligation during the 2021 3-on-3 league season.
For Lincoln University, the addition of an NBA legend like Payton instantly draws attention to a little-known school. A source said a major television network is considering following Payton with the Oaklanders.
So what does Payton want his Lincoln University team to look like?
“It’s going to be like me,” Payton said. “I’m going to have basketball players who are going to work hard, who are going to fight, coming from this gritty, gritty neighborhood that they grew up in. Some of them got lost. Some of them have been overlooked. Now you can come to a school where you can play with a guy like me, like a point guard who is going to play in defense. Our program will play ‘D.’ … We are going to go up and down the ground, but we are going to be disciplined.
“We’re going to play the right way. We’re not going to play ball where we’re going to pass nobody with 3 or nothing like that. We’re going to enjoy the things that I think they are enjoying.
Lincoln University’s men’s basketball program is currently considering several training facilities and playing venues in the Oakland area, a source said, including the former Warriors training center in Oakland. They also hope to schedule a basketball game next season at Oakland Arena, the former Warriors venue formerly known as Oracle Arena.
Lincoln University athletic director and football coach Desmond Gumbs said he started talking to Payton about the basketball opening last November. He added that two Division I schools, including one from the Pac-12 Conference, are already scheduled for the men’s basketball program this coming season.
“It’s an exciting time to be a part of Lincoln and to start the athletic program,” Gumbs said. “And now we have Gary on board. And it’s a great time for Oakland.
Payton is on a list of Oakland basketball legends that includes Hall of Famers Bill Russell and Jason Kidd, five-time NBA champion Brian Shaw, two-time NBA All-Star Paul Silas, star of the Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard, Warriors forward Juan Toscano -Anderson, among others. Payton played at Skyline High School in Oakland before playing college for Oregon State.
Payton is already recruiting nationally, drawing on his Seattle and Los Angeles contacts, but he hopes to focus on recruiting in Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area.
“The west coast is going to be an advantage for me,” said Payton, who also played for the Los Angeles Lakers. “My recruiting on the west coast is going to be great. I’ll give everyone a chance. If I can go south and east and they want to come here, I’ll give them a chance to come here. But I will recruit in my region. I have to recruit in Oakland, California. I have to recruit in LA. I have to recruit in Seattle. I have to recruit in Oregon.
“I have to recruit everywhere, but the West Coast will probably be my main hub. “