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Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp Reunite to Watch Sons Play College Hoops

Former Seattle SuperSonics' player Gary Payton, left, and former teammate Shawn Kemp share a laugh on the sidelines as the two watch their sons, Gary Payton II, of Oregon State, and Shawn Kemp Jr., of Washington, in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, in Seattle.(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
Dan CarsonTrending Lead WriterJanuary 16, 2015

If you're a hoops fan who took to basketball in the 1990s, file this story in the growing archive "Reminders You're Slowly and Inexorably Marching Toward Demise."

That is to say, Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp watched their college-aged sons play basketball Thursday night, and the Space Jam generation felt old.

The former Seattle SuperSonics teammates joined each other at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle for a courtside viewing of the Oregon State-Washington game. Both had progeny playing in the game. Payton's son, Gary Payton II, is a junior guard for the Beavers. Kemp's son, Shawn Kemp Jr., is a senior forward for the Huskies.

Proving you can name your offspring after yourself and see similar results, both sons are more or less anatomical photocopies of their fathers. Payton II is 6'3", 175 pounds, and he is quick. Kemp Jr. is 6'9", 255 pounds, and he does this: 

As for their fathers, Payton and Kemp did all the things good dads do while watching their kids play.

They watched attentively.

They reminisced.

Jan 15, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Former Seattle Supersonics guard Gary Payton and forward Shawn Kemp talk during the game against the Oregon State Beavers and the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

They complained about the officials.

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Both walked the arena with supreme "silver-fox dad" swagger.

@UWAthletics

At the end of the day, they were adorable.

Jan 15, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Supersonics former guard Gary Payton and former forward Shawn Kemp react to a play during the the second half of a game in which their sons Oregon State Beavers guard Gary Payton II (1) and Washington Huskies forwar
USA TODAY Sports

The sight of Payton and Kemp watching their kids play ball made all parties over the age of 20 feel like grabbing a bag of Werther's and talking about the times they walked uphill in snow.

Washington pulled out a 56-43 win over the Beavers but was powerless to keep Payton II off the highlight reel. SickSports.com spotted video from the game, in which Payton's son tallied four blocks and a poster dunk on the baseline in front of dad. 

It's a strange sight seeing NBA Jam's most unstoppable duo sit courtside as their grown children play basketball, but, alas, we all must come to terms with time's cruel stride. At least we can look back fondly on the dunks that were.

Yep. Almost two decades later—still delicious.

 

Follow Dan on Twitter for more sports and pop culture filigree.

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