Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson sat down with NBA legend Gary Payton on the Scoop B Radio podcast this week and asked how Payton’s 2004 Los Angeles Lakers team compares to the current Brooklyn Nets. Payton emphasized his squad played in a “different era” and that you “can’t compare us.”
Payton continued on to say that the Brooklyn Nets are more dynamic: “They shoot threes. Everyone has an opportunity.”
Payton was right. The three ball is more essential in today’s game and teams rely on the perimeter shot more than players back in his era in the early 2000’s. Furthermore, the minutes that went around on that Lakers squad weren’t as equitable as with Steve Nash’s team. Players like Bruce Brown, Landry Shamet, and Tyler Johnson have emerged as key pieces to this Nets squad when earlier in the season they were not given much of an opportunity. It was rare to get a similar chance to breakout as a key piece on Payton’s Lakers squad in 2004.
The Hall of Famer also didn’t shy away from showing his concern for the Brooklyn Nets and their chances of winning a championship: “What if one of them dudes get hurt – are they going to be able to share the ball when the playoffs come and they get down to possessions, not just going up and down.”
The answer to Payton’s questions will be revealed in a couple of weeks as we closer to the playoffs.