Atlanta Hawks: 3 legends for Delon Wright to study

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images) /

Legends for new Atlanta Hawks guard Delon Wright to study No. 2) Gary Payton

For the first 14 seasons of his career, Gary Payton was the center point of every franchise that he played for. The Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston Celtics benefited from his two-way play, especially his incredible defense.

However, it is the final two seasons that Payton played that are the ones of particular interest. He played with the Miami Heat for those last two seasons, playing behind starting point guard Jason Williams. Payton won his only championship with the Heat in 2006.

A career starter, Payton only started 53 of the games that he played for the Heat. He only assumed this role when either Williams or Dwyane Wade were injured and this is precisely the role that Wright needs to take. He is a capable starter but needs to be ready for any scenario thrown his way.

Payton also sacrificed his own numbers for the team. He only averaged 6.6 points and 3.1 assists per game while playing for the Heat. This does not compare well to career numbers of 16.3 points and 6.7 assists per game. He did what the team needed and this helped them to succeed. It is all about buy-in when a player comes to help a team.