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Feb 16, 2001
NBA BASKETBALL Interview
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Gary Payton Interview
By INSIDEHOOPS.COM
Recorded in Jan, 2001

Gary Payton on Patrick Ewing:  Well if he can stay healthy and get us to go against guys like Shaq, Robinson, Duncan, and all them guys, and give us some beef up front, I think, in experience, I know in the playoffs referees give him a little bit of respect, and it gets more intense in the playoffs, and if we can have that and neutralize the big guns if we get in the playoffs, whoever we play, against centers like that, it'll help us in the long run.

Gary Payton on his suspension:  I'm the same guy, I'm not going to change, I'm just the same guy I've been. When I left before the suspension I was the same, now I'm the same after this... I don't even like to talk about it no more.

Gary Payton on people talking: People always say something...I just play basketball, and as long as we get wins, they don't have anything to say...

Gary Payton on whether he wants to finish his career in Seattle: Yeah. I mean, I'm not even worried about that, I don't want to talk about that no more, everybody always talking about trades, whatever, whatever happens, life is going to happen, I can't change what's going to happen in life, I'm tired of talking about that, whatever happens, happens.... as long as I'm here I'm going to try to be the leader and try to do what I can to make us win.

Gary Payton on Patrick Ewing, more:  It's hard, but you gotta understand Patrick is older in his career and he's taking a role where he's being a professional about it... he knew when he was coming here me and Vin was going to get a lot of touches and stuff like that, and he just accepted that, this is where he wanted to be.

Gary Payton on yelling at teammates: I don't yell at teammates, ya'll (the media) say I yell at teammates. I don't yell at teammates. We talk to each other and if it comes out in a way where I'm firey where it's going to be "lets get there, get there, get there" then that's how it's going to be.

Gary Payton on team problems:  Ya'll overblowing it (Gary means the media as a whole, he's not dissin us personally!), that's what it is. The media's overblowing it, I don't get it. I don't get it. I don't see no problem. Every time something happens we always come back and play basketball, and everybody on the team plays, so... that's just the way it is.

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