Seasons: 17 (1990-2007)
Teams: Seattle SuperSonics (1990-03), Milwaukee Bucks (2003), Los Angeles Lakers (2003-04), Boston Celtics (2004-05), Miami Heat (2005-07)
Key stats: 1,335 G, 16.3 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 6.7 APG, 46.6 FG%
NBA titles: 1 (2006)
Bottom line: Most of America’s introduction to Gary Payton came via one of the most iconic Sports Illustrated covers of all time, when he was a senior at Oregon State University in 1990.
Payton’s reputation was made by his skill as much as by his fearlessness, talking trash and backing it up to everyone. The nine-time All-Star and 1996 NBA Defensive Player of the Year credited learning the game on the streets of Oakland for creating his toughness.
A big part of that came from Payton’s father, Al, who famously had "Mr. Mean" on his customized license plates when Gary was growing up. "I am mean," said Payton's father, who died in 2015. "I taught the kid the look, the intimidation, yeah, the meanness. When I played, I liked to hurt people."
Later in his career, Payton managed to shake off his reputation for being brash and became a steady presence in the locker room.