Gary Payton II Considered Applying for Warriors Assistant Job Before 2021-22 Season

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 7, 2022

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II (0) smiles during NBA basketball practice in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. The Warriors are scheduled to host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn

Gary Payton II has been a valuable part of the Golden State Warriors rotation in 2021-22, but he could have been the team's video coordinator instead of a player this season.

The 29-year-old was waived before the season and told ESPN's Malika Andrews he was considering a move to an off-court role with the team:

Malika Andrews @malika_andrews

Before the season, Gary Payton II was considering applying for a job with the Warriors… but not as a player. Here’s the story (via NBA Today): <a href="https://t.co/USstlg1U9s">pic.twitter.com/USstlg1U9s</a>

"I was trying to ask for an interview for that job, just to stay around this team and be around the team and see if I can help," Payton said Tuesday. "And you never know, a 10-day might pop up in between that and in between that video coordinating room."

Payton played on two 10-day contracts with the Warriors last year and bounced around the league the previous five seasons, also spending some time in the G League.

Though his playing career was seemingly at a tipping point, Golden State added the guard to the 2021-22 roster with a new contract on the day of the season-opener.

He came through with averages of 7.1 points 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 71 appearances this year, all career highs. He scored seven points across 25 minutes in Sunday's NBA Finals Game 2 win over the Boston Celtics.