Scout is celebrating Father's Day by counting down the best Father-Son duos in sports history. During the 10 days leading up to Father's Day, June 19, the careers of legendary athletes and their superstar offspring will be highlighted and compared. Today we focus on college basketball and the greatness that was Gary Payton and Gary Payton II.
Considered one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, Payton began his journey at Oregon State University in 1986. In four glorious years there he played in 120 games and averaged 18.1 points per game.
Payton's impact was immediate. He earned Pac-10 freshman of the year in while averaging 12 points, 7 assists and 2 steals per game.
Payton was best known for his dominating defense. A tough defender nicknamed "The Glove," Payton averaged 2.7 steals in his career and was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the year as a freshman, which, surprisingly, was the only time he got the award.
In college, Payton also became known as a serious trash talker. “My whole strategy to a guy was, if I do what was really personal in his life, it wasn’t really a good thing, but I’m telling you guys now that was me, that was just the way it was. You can hate me on the basketball court, but I would say sorry to you afterward," Payton once explained. "If I knew something about a person’s mother, his sister, if he had just got a drunk driving charge, I would go at that situation. It might be cruel to some people, but I would go at it.”
In 1990, Payton's final season as a Beaver, he averaged 25.7 points, 8.1 assists, and 3.4 steals per game and was a consensus All-American.
When he graduated from Oregon State, he held the school record for points, field goals, three-point field goals, assists, and steals. During his career at OSU, the Beavers made three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Many of the players that Payton played against and with in college and during his 17-year NBA career considered him the most intimidating and toughest player they had ever faced.
Gary Payton II
Gary Payton II wasn't afraid to be compared to his famous father. While didn't choose to be named after his father, Payton II did decide to attend Oregon State, where his dad became famous.
A Salt Lake Community College transfer, Payton II played two seasons for the Beavers, electrifying the crowd at Gil Coliseum the way his old man did in the late 1980s.
Like his dad, Payton became an instant star for the Beavers, averaging 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 3.1 steals and 1 block per game during his junior year. Payton II led the conference in steals per game and total steals for the season. He helped the team finish 7th in the Pac-12 after being picked to finish last in the league.
In 2014 against Grambling State, Payton II become only the second Beaver ever to record a triple-double in a game. The only other player was his father who did it in a game vs. Portland in 1988.
A lefty (unlike his father) Payton II was named first-team All-Pac-12 and Defensive Player of the Year after his junior season. He gained the nickname "The Mitten," an homage to "The Glove."
As a senior he repeated with all the same awards as he won during his junior year, becoming the first ever player to have multiple Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year awards. He was the only Pac-12 player to finish in the top 10 in the league in steals, scoring, rebounding and assists.
The Beavers also made the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990 when his father was playing.
Who had the better career?
A clear edge goes to Pop here, but you have to wonder if Payton II had been at Oregon State for four seasons, would he have broke all of his father's records and maybe been an All-American? Either way both had tremendous careers as demonstrated by there achievements and records listed below.
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