Gary Payton

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    • Gary: They're all athletic and young and they're all free willing. They (Chicago) are playing really loose. It's going to be a good challenge. We're going to have Shaq back in there and all of us playing on the same page with everybody back.

    • Gary: It is much easier to be the hunter than the hunted. When you are the one not expected to do anything, you play better.

    • Gary: It's all about mentality. We play these teams four or five times a year anyway, so we just need to not do the things that caused us to lose to them in the regular season.

    • Gary: Everyone starts 0-0 in the playoffs.

    • Gary: I've got four or five of them.

    • Gary: I think we got to get a win to make it 2-2, to make people understand that we can beat them, that they don't have any advantage over us. We just have to make a statement like that.

    • Gary: This is what we're supposed to be here for. We're supposed to step up for things like this.

    • Gary: We're relying on him too much and watching him too much, and that's going to kill him.

    • Gary: That's troublesome. You always have to think about beating these guys. They come into the playoffs, they think they've got your number.

    • Gary: It reminds you of the days Larry Bird and Magic would go at it.

    • Gary: We have people calling from out-of-state who want to come and help. As we begin this recovery, we will serve as a referral service for volunteers.

    • Gary: That's what the NBA is about, two young up and coming guys having big games like that.

    • Gary: We always have to be the ones to give us a little energy.

    • Gary: What they were doing in the first half we were doing in the second half.

    • Gary: It'll be a big loss and that's going to hurt us because he adjusts a lot of (shots) in the game. Hopefully, it's just a couple of games or whatever and he'll come back and be with us.

    • Gary: We're more focused on the road. On the road, those hills we create for ourselves look a lot higher.

    • Gary: What I think Pat is doing is he's trying to get us perfect. There's no coach that would come out and say, 'You're perfect,' because once you hear your coach say that, then we'll slip up and we'll start slacking. He's doing what he's supposed to. He's supposed to stay on us like that.

    • Gary: I don't think we're a great defensive team. We're getting a lot better. We're still going to stay good another month or two. We just have to keep it up.

    • Gary: Gutsy, shoots the ball, he can play (defense). That is what we need.

    • Gary: They wanted the scores to go up because they wanted the fans to come back. They want high-flying dunks, a lot of people scoring and that's what they're getting. The people they want to see score, they're getting that, and their TV ratings go up.

    • Gary: He fooled us. Usually, we get the tantrum and all of that. He can say some mean stuff. But this time, he went to an opposite approach. I never thought I'd ever see that from him. He must have danced a good three or four minutes. He was good out there, twirling around, light on his feet. We got some spirit from that.

    • Gary: The simple fact is back in the day when Alvin Robertson and Derek Harper were guarding you, they could hand-check you and do everything else and you had to shoot over them. They were making it tough for you. You had to earn everything.

    • Gary: We've got to take it upon ourselves to play defense as individuals.

    • Gary: We all had a skip in our step. We had to go out and prove we can play against a top team. We went out and established ourselves.

    • Gary: I hope we've gotten past that sense of lackadaisical play.

    • Gary: It does stick out we haven't beat any of those teams.

    • Gary: I think we're getting into a rhythm now.

    • Gary: It's got to be up to Shaq. If he hits the boards like that with us, we're going to win a lot of basketball games.

    • Gary: I am proud of our efforts, small though they may be, when compared to the enormity of the recovery task ahead. The uniting bond we share is the simple desire to serve those so devastated by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.

    • Gary: They've got a legit team. You can't go in there and say it's a win. You've got to take those guys seriously now.

    • Gary: Look at Pat. He's won championships and he knows what to do to get that extra oomph. Pat probably realized he didn't have that ... and he needed somebody who could make big plays at critical times.

    • Gary: Pat has won championships, and he knows what to do to get that extra 'oomph'.

    • Gary: Look at Pat. He's won championships and he knows what to do to get that extra oomph, ... Pat probably realized he didn't have that ... and he needed somebody who could make big plays at critical times.

    • Gary: You don't go and panic right now. Once you start panicking things don't go right. After (tonight) will be 41 more games. If we get a better record than we did this (half) and win 28, 29, games we're going to be 48 or 49 and something, that's the way you look at it. Even if we win 24, that'd be 48 games. If we win 26, that'll be 50 games. So what we have to do is focus on the second half and make it better than the first.

    • Gary: We've got to win like seven or eight in a row now. We've got to go like 34-16, or something like that. We're at home for four games. We need all four. If we can get that and keep building from where we're going we'll be OK.

    • Gary: Before (Riley) got here everybody would guard your man and get over. Now he's telling us to pull the trigger; if we get beat someone has to take that man and rotate. That's a big difference. It takes time but we're getting there.

    • Gary: That was a big change in my life. I thought I was going to be there the rest of my career. That's all I was asking for.

    • Gary: I think he's so comfortable here. I don't think he wants to move out of this neighborhood. This is just a comfort zone for him.

    • Gary: My oldest brother and my middle brother would always beat me up and take the ball from me. I used to cry a lot, so I used to come in here and get my dad. He used to be on my team, so he used to hold them down and let me score the basket.

    • Gary: You really can't guard him. You can't stop him, you've got to contain him. And that's what we did on Christmas. We contained him. I tried to get him tired. That was about the only thing I could do. This time I think he's going to be a little bit more assertive with his game.

    • Gary: He's put it to a level where he's like Michael Jordan now. You remember when Jordan was getting to his later stages and he couldn't get to the basket as easy as he wanted to, he started pulling up on jumpers and the mid-range jumps shots. You saw it (with Bryant) when he played Cleveland the other night. He made three consecutive baskets mid-range when he knew everybody was going to him.

    • Gary: A lot of guys are stepping up, a lot of things are happening for us that are good. Everybody's stepping in and playing their roles, so all we think about is winning right now. We're starting to jell a little bit.

    • Gary: Everybody's playing the way they're supposed to play. Everybody's doing their job. Everybody's being the role player that they've got to be and doing the things they need to do. It helps when you've got a lot of veterans on your team.

    • Gary: It's a big difference when we are missing a lot of key guys. It is hard when we don't make shots and we are playing a team that runs and is so good at home and played Shaq the way they did.

    • Gary: It's him. He brought his system here, and he wanted us to run. Most of the guys on this team want to run.

    • Gary: He looked pretty good. He just has to get his timing back, and then it's going to be good for us.

    • Gary: But I'm not going to go too many more places. I'm not going to keep changing to different area codes. This (next move) is going to be the last for me. If it happens again, I'm going to have to just hang it up then.

    • Gary: We knew they were going to make a run, but we didn't know we were going to go cold like we did and not execute. We were really executing well until the end, then we stopped playing defense and let them do what they wanted.

    • Gary: We're going to have to play freely and open.

    • Gary: Hopefully it's not going to be long for him to be out. He's a big guy. He came down and twisted his ankle pretty bad. I saw it.

    • Gary: Me and him are going to click real, real well, ... I'm going to take him under my wing. I'm going to make sure he doesn't get mad at situations where it's not even necessary.

    • Gary: Nah, ... The trash-talking cost me a lot of money, now...

    • Gary: I think I can still play with a lot of people in this league.

    • Gary: I think (Stern) is just trying to get our image back.

    • Gary: He's got a natural stroke. He's a rhythm-type shooter. If he gets hot... and starts feeling it, he's going to fill it up.

    • Gary: I didn't like him as light as he was. He should have been a little bulkier. That's when he's Shaq Diesel.

    • Gary: When he bullies people, that's when he's at his best.

    • Gary: He didn't like the 19 and 10 he was getting (in the playoffs). This year we'll get him back to 26 and 12 or 13, and we'll be fine.

    • Gary: I didn't like him as light as he was.

    • Gary: I like him the way he is now. I think he just wanted to get in shape to show people he can do that. Shaq is Shaq when he's big and when he can muscle people around. I think people thought they could muscle him around. He didn't feel comfortable with that. ... It'll be a big difference.

    • Gary: Name a better backup point guard in the league.

    • Gary: It's been very hard coming from where I come from, starting all my time. But right now it's not about that. It's about what we have to accomplish to get to a championship.

    • Gary: I think Pat realized he didn't have that maturity. With Shaq getting hurt and Wade getting hurt, I think he needed someone who could make big shots and big plays. I think he went out and did that.

    • Gary: We have a lot of new guys coming in that are going to have to learn the system. And we are going to have to get it together right away. I think that is where a lot of people are concerned about us. We have a good shot, we have a lot of talent here and we have to get cohesive very quickly.

    • Gary: I'm going to try to help Jason as much as possible. He has never had a guy like me to guide him. When I come into camp, I'm going to try to help him. I'm not going to try to beat him up or beat him down.

    • Gary: We want to win basketball games, and not let our egos get in the way. Everybody on this team has, at one point, been a star or a starter or a bigger part of their team. ... We have to understand that we are talking about wins, not who is going to have the points.

    • Gary: George said I needed to start giving him something special.

    • Gary: It felt good to come out and get a welcome like that, ... It makes you feel like you're at home

    • Gary: We've got to expect a war. Everybody's overlooking this team, but this is a very good team.

    • Gary: (The Bulls) are all athletic and young and they're all free willing. They're playing really loose. It's going to be a good challenge. We just can't let them come in and try to steal one in Miami. It's going to be a tough young team that is never going to quit playing.

    • Gary: They're athletic and young and they're all freewheeling. They're playing really loose, so it's going to be a good challenge.

    • Gary: That's not why they came here, to win a Western Conference championship.