Payton Sr. crashes Wiggs’ interview to praise ‘great D’ after win originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
When one of the greatest defenders in NBA history speaks, you listen.
After the Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics on Thursday and won their fourth title in eight years, Andrew Wiggins joined the crew of NBC Sports Bay Area’s “Warriors Live: Finals Edition” to talk about his outstanding performance throughout the postseason run that earned him the first ring of his career.
Wiggins averaged 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds over the six games, but his lockdown defense captured the attention of many, including one of the most tenacious defenders the league has ever seen.
Gary Payton, known for never holding back his words, couldn’t help but intervene in Wiggins’ interview.
“He was the man. No, he was the one,” Payton said, as Wiggs and the crew laughed to his surprise. “He stepped up. It’s Wiggins time. Great D, baby. And go right back at ‘em. That’s what you do.”
Wiggins was dubbed “Two-Way Wiggs” for his effect on both ends of the floor, and it came to fruition throughout these playoffs, especially during the Finals.
While preparing for his first Finals appearance, he realized his biggest test lay ahead: Celtics’ young star Jayson Tatum.
And Wiggs understood the assignment.
The Warriors contained Tatum, who was primarily guarded by Wiggins, to historically low NBA Finals shooting. The 24-year-old struggled all series, and Wiggs came out to be his worst nightmare.
Wiggins’ efforts paid off, and were appreciated by Payton.
The Glove also witnessed his son, Gary Payton II, be a critical part of the Warriors’ postseason run and then come out victorious on the biggest stage in basketball.
Like Wiggins, Payton II got to add NBA champion to his remarkable story that is still being written.
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They say defense wins championships, and Wiggins and Payton II helped prove that. Now, bring on the party.
“Congratulations, man. Good work, y’all deserve it,” Payton said. “It’s all been a good thing. Let’s go back to San Francisco and party.”
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