first time i ever sat courtside at a jazz game was a game against the sonics. stockton has just fought his way through a pick on the sonics' end by doing something dirty - elbowing the sonics' big or whatever. the big man flopped but the refs didn't call it. stock was able to catch up with the play so payton shot it under pressure and missed.
coming the other way, stockton veered right to get to that right-elbow spot where the jazz like to initiate the O - right in front of where i was sitting. payton knew where he was going obviously, but to send a message of "i know what you did" he beat him to the spot and lowered a shoulder into him. stockton took the dive, got the whistle, and then lay there while gary stood over making a face and nodding his head like "yep, remember that i got you back."
but the most telling part was what happened right after, and i probably would have never seen it if i wasn't sitting where i was. stock hopped back up and the two guys went to get in position for the inbound pass, but just as they were disappearing into a mass of players, i saw them simultaneously reach out and each pat the other guy on the backside. they were the in the middle of this intense war with midcourt body checks and nasty elbows to fight through screens, but then there was this moment where they silently gave each other this little no-hard-feelings reassurance. after that, i always watched closely whenever the two were on the floor together, and there was definitely a level of begrudging respect between the two.
11-21-2012 11:30 AM
Payton, Payton, Payton, today, tomorrow, any day of the year. Reggie shot the 3. Period. GP was exceptional on both ends of the court. I think a top 50 player of all time.
Originally Posted by carolinajazz