HEAT Sign Gary Payton

HEAT Sign Gary Payton

MIAMI, September 22 – The Miami HEAT announced today that they have signed nine-time NBA All-Star guard Gary Payton. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are very fortunate to have been able to acquire a player of Gary Payton’s stature,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “He is a proven veteran and will be a big addition to this team.”

Payton appeared in 77 games (77 starts) for the Boston Celtics last season, averaging 11.3 points, 6.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.14 steals in 33.0 minutes per game, while shooting 46.8 percent from the field. He ranked 12th in the league in assists per turnover (3.17), 13th in assists per game, 14th in assists per 48 minutes (8.9) and 16th in total assists (469). During the course of the season, he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, along with Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart and a 2007 first round draft choice, in exchange for Antoine Walker and cash considerations. Payton was then re-signed by the Celtics after being released from the Hawks.

During his 15-year NBA career, Payton has appeared in 1,186 games (1,180 starts), averaging 17.6 points, 7.2 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.97 steals in 36.5 minutes per game, while shooting 46.9 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 tied for 3rd (Maurice Cheeks) on the NBA’s all-time list in steals (2,331), 6th in assists (8,508) and 25th in points (20,829). 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 129 playoff games during the course of his career, averaging 15.7 points, 6.0 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.50 steals in 37.9 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, Payton’s 13-year career with Seattle was highlighted by selections to the NBA All-Star Team seven straight seasons.

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