Seattle SuperSonics legend Gary Payton is officially becoming a college head coach, as reported by The Undefeated's Marc Spears.
Long-rumoured to make the leap to NBA coaching circles, Payton is starting something big in his hometown of Oakland at the Lincoln University.
Primarily a business school, Lincoln is starting its sports program next season, with the Hall of Fame point guard at the helm of the basketball program.
The nine-time NBA All-Star and 1995 Defensive Player of the Year was one of the toughest players on the court in his era and he's bringing that same mindset to the sidelines, when asked what his players can expect of him as a coach.
"Well you gone expect hell, I'm not gonna take nothing less," Payton said with a laugh on NBA Australia's Courtside Huddle. "I'm not the new school coach, I'm still an old school coach.
"As Shawn would know, we played tough and we played hard and I want my players to understand, criticism is coming in the right way, it might not be said in the right way, but it's in the right way.
"If I'm saying something to you, that means I'm thinking that you're somebody, you're going to be good, you're going to have an opportunity and I want to get you better. "
The Oakland-native, whose only previous coaching experience came in the Big 3 hopes to build the startup program into a Division 1 school and he'll be enlisting the help of his former Seattle running mate Shawn Kemp to help prepare his players, sharing their years of NBA experience.
"My program is going to be strong and I haven't told Shawn yet but he's going to be around a lot," Payton continued. "I'm a have him coming down, talking to these players, getting them right, and letting them understand how we came up, how we struggled in our first two years in the NBA and it's not easy, we have to work,
"You have to work to where you're going to get, but I'm not going to recruit kids that I don't think are tough enough to deal with me and that's just the fact. If you cant deal with me I can't have you here."
A dynamic duo on the court, Payton and Kemp lit up arenas every night with their one-two punch and for the Lincoln University basketball team, the Sonics legends want to see the next generation embrace that same greatness in practice and on the floor.
"If I can say anything about the players these days, it's just that they have to continue to challenge themselves more and being great is not being great sometimes," Kemp said.
"One thing me and Gary realised is being great, is being great every night. That means every time that you step out on the floor that's about being great.
"I think sometimes when I watch the games, sometimes that's what the game is lacking, a little bit of the consistency of greatness. Being great is being great every night that you play. It's no excuses for that
"It's good to hear we're going to get some old-school coaching."
Catch the full episode of Courtside Huddle with Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp below.
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