Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 11/15/14

Rookie season can be tough in the NBA. Players go from playing about 30 games in college and two weeks per game to the 82-game grind of three or four games per week, if not five, and they are playing against the world's best players. It is not an easy transition. Gary Payton hit those rookie doldrums pretty hard during his rookie season in 1991. He played in and started all 82 games, but averaged only 7.2 points per game while providing 6.4 assists per game. It took the Hall of Fame point guard a little while to find his feet. The problems with Seattle's organization -- K.C. Jones was the head coach for a 41-41 team that made the Playoffs -- did not help. It caused Payton to consider the impossible for a rookie -- retirement. He spoke with Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com's Hang Time Blog. I was thinking about it. I was like, ‘What am I out here for? This isn’t even what I want to do. I’m not happy.’ I didn’t want to do anything. . . . The frustration really grew his second year. Jones was fired 36 games into the season and the Sonics had Bob Kloppenburg coach for four games. Then George Karl took over and the Sonics became a Western Conference power, making a Finals appearance in 1996. And, of course, Gary Payton became a nine-time NBA All Star (nine consecutive appearances from 1994 until 2003, actually) and one of the best point guards of the 1990s. He did not win a championship until he latched on with the Heat in 2006 at the end of his career, but that did not take away from an outstanding career. It all could have ended if Payton remained frustrated with the Sonics' precarious coaching situation in the early 90s. [follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Furniture store will refund purchases if OSU wins title

A gift from Santa: NFC edition

Is SI ashamed to mention Jameis Winston on its cover?

Kobe Bryant disappointed Lakers didn't get Rajon Rondo

Niners OT Anthony Davis takes shot at offensive coordinator

Report: Josh Smith expected to sign with Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cullen Jenkins thinks his roughing the passer fine is unfair

Bochy: Peavy trade was best in-season move of 2014

Report: Anderson Varejao out for season with torn Achilles

Kevin Nash arrested after alleged fight with son

Report: Celtics, Cavs discussing three-team trade

NFC playoff picture, Week 17: Division showdowns

Jason Grilli signs with Atlanta (sort of) for two years

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

WATCH: Bahamas Bowl ends on insane Hail Mary play

Mike Yeo slams Wild for not having 'winner's attitude'

Michigan St. QB, Ohio State TE have awkward Twitter exchange

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each NFL Week 17 game

The 40 greatest Christmas-related names in sports

NBA teams rooting for others to win

WATCH: Vlade Divac drains half-court shot, wins $90K for charity

Charles Barkley would pay recruits to go to Auburn

WATCH: Serge Ibaka, LaMarcus Aldridge ejected for scuffle

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

10 Week 17 NFL matchups that will impact the playoffs

Bahamas Bowl ends on crazy Hail Mary

49ers OT Davis takes shot at coordinator

Will FIFA ever care to change?

Top storyline for each Week 17 game

40 great Christmas-related sports names

Ibaka, Aldridge ejected for scuffle

Nick Young on Kobe-less win: He needs to pass

NFC playoff picture, Week 17: Division showdowns

J.R. Smith: Knicks' season a 'nightmare'

Bennett: Seahawks defense is best ever

Ex-Ohio St. WR takes jab at Michigan

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.