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]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron's triple-double leads Cavs to win in OT thriller

Report: Adrian Peterson will skip Vikings first OTAs

Corey Brewer: We got our butt kicked, it was embarrassing

Brian Kelly hints Notre Dame will have fast offense

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

Federer unhappy with security after fan comes on court

WATCH: LeBron throws down ferocious dunk in traffic

WATCH: Al Horford ejected for elbowing Matthew Dellavedova

Seahawks fan starts GoFundMe for Russell Wilson's contract

Billy Donovan thanks Florida fans with full-page ad

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Most valuable non-QB for each NFL team

WATCH: LeBron's ferocious dunk in traffic

Kelly drops hint about ND offense

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

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.