But he returned for Game 2 of the Finals on Sunday.
He got off to a bit of a rough start, only scoring 7 points but there is hope that he will only get better and better in the next few games.
On this day in 1994… Gary Payton & a young GP II did an interview together! #NBA75
*Did they predict GP II's basketball future?* pic.twitter.com/bMKYA2rSiP
— NBA History (@NBAHistory) June 8, 2022
Payton is playing in his first playoffs and he is surely taking some inspiration from a figure near and dear to him: his dad, Gary Payton.
The younger Payton has long been proud of his dad and modeled his own career after him.
He’s also been a huge fan of his father since birth, which was on display back in 1994 when Payton Sr. held his son in his arms before a game with the Seattle Supersonics.
The young Payton sat on his dad’s lap, wearing a rocking earring and seemingly in awe of the microphone.
He was very young but his father definitely suggested that Payton would someday grow up to be a baller.
How right he was.
Payton has bounced around the league a bit since entering the NBA back in 2016.
He’s played for the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Wizards before making a home in Golden State.
Throughout his career, he’s averaged 5.2 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists.
He’s stepped it up in the last season, securing 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 0.9 assists.
It seems like he’s feeling more comfortable with the Warriors and he’s certainly becoming a great presence on both ends of the court.
There is a chance that Payton could be winning his first Finals this year, which would not only make himself proud but would definitely make his papa proud too.