Gary Payton, the legendary king of Oregon State basketball, the nine-time NBA All-Star and the Hall of Fame trash-talking point guard, has accepted a position as the head men’s basketball coach at Lincoln University in Oakland, California, according to a report from ESPN’s The Undefeated.
Payton commented on the role stating “it’s a startup program and a private independent school where I can establish what I want to establish. I don’t have to go behind anybody to try to make a program become something or keep it going. I can start it off with my own program with what I want to happen. And the reason I took it is because it’s in Oakland, California.”
While the school is currently non-NCAA Division I, Payton’s long-term dreams are to compete at that level and the always outspoken and brash now head coach already has added some Division I foes to the team’s upcoming slates. And as for his personal schedule, Payton will still coach in the “Big 3 Basketball League” with his 3 Headed Monsters squad beginning in July.
Payton also commented on the hopeful look of his team at Lincoln, saying that Oakland and west coast roots and a similar style to “The Glove” will take precedent in the program.
“It’s going to look something like me. I’m going to get basketball players that’s going to work hard, going to grind, coming from that gritty, gritty neighborhood they grew up in. Some of them have gotten lost. Some of them got overlooked. Now you can come to a school where you can play under a guy like myself, as in a point guard that is going to play defense. Our program is going to play ‘D.’ … We’re going to get up and down the floor, but we’re going to be disciplined. We’re going to play the right way. We’re not going to play ball where we’re going to outshoot nobody with 3s or nothing like that. We’re going to take advantage of the things I think they take advantage of.” (ESPN’s The Undefeated)
Payton played for the Beavers from 1986-1990, averaging 18.1 points, 7.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals throughout his career. His stellar play on-the-court led him to being named the Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1990, a consensus All-American in 1990, the Pac-10 Defensive Player and Freshman of the Year in 1987, a three-time All-Pac-10 selection and eventually, his #20 was retired by the program.