CORVALLIS, Ore.-- Oakland native Gary Payton is excited that his son will attend his alma mater next season, but hopes Gary II will be allowed to be his own man at Oregon State.
"He needs to have his own identity. I don't want him compared to me," said Payton, honored for his recent induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame at halftime of Saturday's game between the Beavers and visiting Cal.
The greatest player in Oregon State history, Payton received a standing ovation from the Gill Coliseum crowd when he talked onto the court before the game.
A star at Skyline High before becoming an All-America career in Corvallis, Payton earned the nickname, "The Glove" for his tenacious defensive play.
Gary Payton II, who grew up in Las Vegas and is a sophomore at Salt Lake Community College, has been dubbed "The Mitten."
"It's a nickname I don't think he wants," Payton said. "He's a great defender. He plays just like me -- I think he might be a little more athletic than me. It's going to be fun to watch him play." Gary II wasn't able to attend Saturday's game at his future school because he was playing a game for Salt Lake, where he averages 13.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals for a 16-3 team.
A 6-foot-3 guard, Gary II also was recruited by Saint Mary's. Payton said it was son's decision to to attend OSU.
"Four years ago I didn't think my son was a good basketball player," Payton said. "He proved me wrong. I am very excited for little Gary to come here." Payton also addressed a variety of other topics during and after a pregame news conference:
"They asked me to go on that trip. It's one of those things where you've got to say, he's doing too much," Payton said. "It's not the right time to be going there from our country right now." When Rodman was quizzed about that by a TV interviewer last week, he became combative and seemed to not understand the potential consequences of his actions.
"He came out and said he had a little too much to drink," Payton said, "but you have to understand what you're doing."
"I'm just from the old school. When you go to the basket we knocked you on your butt." Payton said Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker are the only current NBA point guards he likes.