Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bayless Getting To Know 'The Glove'

Most NBA players, at least the good ones, have extreme confidence in themselves. It’s a necessity when you’re going up against some of the greatest athletes to walk the earth. Some guys have a quite confidence, while others are more than willing to tell the world just how talented they are. Jerryd Bayless falls somewhere in between. He self-assured to the extreme, but he’s not necessarily going to be in your face about it, at least off the court. On the court, he’s as brash and competitive as they come

Usually, Bayless is one of the biggest talkers in the gym. I can say that because, during a live chat on media day, Bayless freely admitted he’s got the biggest ego on the team. But on the first day of training camp, Gary Payton, a legendary NBA player and trash talker, was on hand to take in the first run of the season, assuring that, at least for the day, Bayless wouldn’t be the king of bravado in Tualatin.

As it happens, one of the reasons Payton paid a visit was to catch up with Bayless. The two have known each other for some time, forging a friendship out of mutual interest and personality. For Bayless, it’s a chance to pick the brain of one of the all-time great point guards.

“He’s a hall of famer,” said Bayless of Payton. “I don’t really know what you can do better than that. I’m just trying to learn from him, but I’m also trying to learn from Andre, trying to learn from everyone here. Just trying to get better every day.

“I think he’s one of the most competitive guards who has ever been in the league. Taking that from him and learning from him and watching film of him. Knowing him, being able to talk and have a conversation with him, learning different things is something I’ve tried to do with him.”

From Payton’s perspective, Bayless has the skills to be a star in the league, but he needs to get past worrying about making mistakes, learn to trust that his skills are enough to keep him on the floor.

“I just told him I like the aggressiveness that he’s got now,” said Payton. “Last year he was a little bit passive, thinking ‘If I take a shot I’m going to come out of the game.’ or whatever. Now that he’s shown these guys he’s coming in here and he’s aggressive. His jump shot is getting a lot better. He’s getting aggressive, more confident. I just told him that’s the way he has to do it. Don’t think about coming out of the game. If you take a shot and you miss, think about getting a steal, show coach you’re going to do other things.

“When he gets down the floor he’s really quick with the basketball. I told him that. I told him that he’s going to have to add a little bit more to his game, when he gets by guys, pull up for a jump shot. He can finish. He can do all that. Now it’s just time to refine his game, make it where he can do everything. I see he’s trying hard on the defensive end, and that’s going to take time too. Everybody got to take time. Take time to become a better basketball player. And he’s got a lot of time.”

Bayless still has a long ways to go to get to Payton’s level, which, if you’re familiar with GP’s game, is no slight to Bayless. After all, “The Glove” was one of the premier point guards of his era and one of the best defensive guards of all time. But when it comes to being competitive and confident, Payton thinks Bayless is already his peer.

Said Payton: “He’s confident. I’ve always loved that about him. When I first met him we were doing “The Best Damn Sports Show”. I asked him ‘If you were the team to pick first, who would you pick?’ and he said ‘Bayless’, just like that. I said ‘I like you already.’ because you got a lot of confidence in yourself and that’s how we became real close like we are now, talking and everything. Ever since then I knew this kid was going to be good. I loved him because of his confidence. He reminds me of myself.”


Rick_Dawg said...

Not diggin it at all. Wasn't GP known as one of the jerkest players on his team? Wasn't he about himself more than the team? I mean he's gone so far as to say he's better than Stockton, and to justify it you just have to look at their head to head stats. Granted GP's stats were better, but in head to head the Jazz won more than the Sonics. I think the fact GP thinks Bayless is exactly like him sucks. We basically have a diva sitting 3rd string, thinking he's good enough to go out there and just put shots up. Horrible. Can we trade Bayless already please so we can actually get something for him.

OUTLAW FAN25 said...

First of all GP is the man he could get 20 on one end and lock down on the other i wish he would come out of retirement and play for us right now and bayless may or may not get there but he has a good set of skills and sounds like he is trying to get better and if you trade him whoever you get wont play either. I was excited when we got patty mills this year i think he could be an impact player sometime in his career maybe like a bobby jackson to bad he got hurt.

Patrick from the Capitol said...

He was the man . Very full of himself , but you know what many a night guys would try to shut him down and they couldnt . If Bayless is getting help or confidence from GP so be it .You just got extra help from a hall of fame player in our modern era . Bayless will be a Allstar player not this year but you will be watching him during the break in a few seasons.
Rip City boys lets break 60 wins this year this team is to stacked with Talent from the players to the front office. I love this team
Patrick from the captiol

jwoo73 said...

Do you really think coach Nate would invite him if he thought he was a jerk? Come on. Payton has an attitude, good for him. He backed up his talk with excellent play. His game, unlike many point guards, was full court. Best defensive point ever? Maybe. And he was solid as hell on the offensive end - he could get his own in a variety of ways and he was adept at setting up his teammates. And there is no way that he will ever be classified as an "it's all about me" type of player by anyone who knows the game or spent time watching him play. The Sonics played team ball during much of his tenure in Seattle, having a cast of players that could score (not unlike our Blazers). Just my opinion.

Ethan said...

Whoa...Rick_Dawg!!! GP is on eof the best players in Sonics history...not to mention he's from the great college of OSU... don't comment unless you have anything good to say.

Nasty said...

Hey Dawf.. GP was a WINNER! College and pros GP put up wins even without a good jumper in college, so I think he knows a thing or two about the little things and playing d. I hope Bayless gets minutes this year, although with Blake in the mix that will be a huge challenge for him. I like his hand check in your face aggressive d ready to see more of that.

503 4 Life said...

I can't believe the comments made by rick dawg about G.P one of the best point guards ever an as for trash talk theres a high percentage of players talkin maybe u should get closer seats u here it all game long every game. and hes the jerkiest player what is jerky (a strip of meat dry out that dont walk talk jump nor run) maybe u should contact G.P and get trash talkn 1 an 2 class i wish bayless could pick up were G.P left off.