Gary Payton II explains intense Steve Kerr conversation in Warriors’ win

GP2 explains intense sideline conversation with Kerr originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Gary Payton II continues to impress on the court for the Warriors this season. 

Claiming the 15th and final roster spot out of training camp, Payton made an immediate impact and has proven to be very valuable and multifaceted player off the bench. 

His talent is obvious, but what really stands out, is his humble attitude and desire to keep getting better. He’s willing to learn from anyone who has something to teach, including Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was seen passionately coaching up GP2 on the sideline Friday in the Warriors’ 118-96 win over the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center.

Immediately after the game, Payton joined Warriors Postgame Live where he was asked about the exchange. 

“He just told me to play smart, be smart with my fouls,” Payton II told Bonta Hill, Chris Mullin and Dorell Wright. “If I can’t be smart with my fouls I’m not going to be able to play. In the second half, I listened, tried to play with my hands behind my back and not try to foul. We know Chris [Paul’s] gamesmanship and what he likes to do. Just trying to play without fouling.”

Paul is notorious when it comes to fishing for fouls, which is why Kerr wanted Payton to play extra cautiously against the seasoned veteran. 

Payton finished the night with 19 points in 26 minutes of action while shooting a very efficient 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range. 

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The 29-year-old guard is on his fourth team in six years in the NBA, and without a doubt has put together his best season yet with the Warriors.