Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 8/29/13

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

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

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

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker