When he was in the NBA, Gary Payton was one of the best point guards in the league.
He could put points on the scoreboard and was a feared defender on the perimeter. And because of this he is now in the Hall of Fame so it is safe to say, "The Glove" can spot a true point guard when he sees one.
With that being said, Payton made it clear - there's only three true point guards in the league right now and one of them is San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker.
Via The Republican:
“We don’t really have point guards in the NBA now. We really have (shooting) guards – and that’s a fact,” Payton said. “I think there’s only three true point guards that play like point guards. I think Chris Paul is one, I think (Rajon) Rondo is one, and I think Tony Parker is the other.”
Funny to hear Parker be defined as a true point guard considering he is thought to be a scoring point guard and not looking to pass first. But that has changed for Parker in the past two seasons.
He has upped his assists averages to 7.7 per game in the 2011-12 season and 7.6 in the 2012-13 season. Both averages are career highs considering his best prior to those season was 6.6 assists in the 2010-11 season.
Parker can still light up the scoreboard when he wants but seeing him evolve into a more balance point guard has done wonders for San Antonio. With the torched passed from Tim Duncan to Tony, the Spurs are still considered a perennial title contender and has even garnered him attention as an NBA MVP candidate as last season proved.
With up-and-coming point guards such as Ricky Rubio, and Kyrie Irving, this is truly an era of the point guard in the NBA and Parker is leading the charge after 12-years in the NBA.
Thoughts Spurs fans? Is TP a true point guard and should be be top-3 like Payton said over others such as Derrick Rose, or Deron Williams?