HEAT Re-Sign Gary Payton
Payton appeared in 81 games (25 starts) for the HEAT during the 2005-06 season, averaging 7.7 points, 3.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 28.5 minutes per game. He ranked second on the team in steals (71), third in assists (257) and fourth in three-point field goals made (66) and attempted (230). He scored in double-figures 28 times and his 79.4 percent free throw percentage was his highest since the 2001-02 season. Payton originally signed with the HEAT on September 22, 2005.
During his 16-year NBA career, Payton has appeared in 1,267 games (1,205 starts), averaging 16.9 points, 6.9 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.90 steals in 36.0 minutes per game, while shooting 46.7 percent from the field. Payton was elected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team eight consecutive seasons (1994-2001) and was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1996, becoming the first guard to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1987-88. He currently ranks 3rd on the NBAs all-time list in steals (2,402), 6th in assists (8,765) and 23rd in points (21,455). During the 2004-05 season, Payton became just the 29th player in NBA history to accumulate 20,000 career points. He also became the first player in NBA history to achieve 20,000 points, 8,000 assists and 1,000 steals during the course of a career.
Payton has appeared in 152 playoff games during the course of his career, averaging 14.2 points, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.42 steals in 35.8 minutes per game.
Payton has twice won Olympic Gold as a member of the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Men's Olympic Teams. In addition, he was named to the All-NBA First-Team in 1998 and 2000, the All-NBA Second Team in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1999, and All-NBA Third Team in 2001.
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the first round (second overall) of the 1990 NBA Draft, Paytons 13-year career with Seattle was highlighted by selections to the NBA All-Star Team seven straight seasons.