During a decade in which seven-footers and a man named Michael ruled the realm, Gary Payton helped transform a Northwestern team from young talented squad to Western Conference Champions in a remarkably short span. Equipped with a defensive skill-set matched only by the rigor of his trash-talking mouth, Gary Payton led the then Seattle Sonics to the ‘96 NBA Finals and duked it out with Michael Jordan and the 72-10 Bulls for six games. Payton was amidst the peak of his career – a peak longer than most NBA players – and remained one of the best point guards in the league for another seven seasons since that ’96 Finals appearance. In 1998, Gary Payton was finally appointed his own signature line with Nike and a year later, the Nike Air Zoom GP was unveiled. Continue on to Sneaker News HD for a high-def gallery as well as a brief overview of this classic.
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