Following a defiant seventh-round knockout of previously unbeaten Jose Pedraza (22-1, 12...
Payton and Oladipo Look to Create Own Magic
Orlando pair would like to become what Golden State is now
BROOKLYN – The question was asked to rookie Orlando Magic guard, Eldrid Payton, after the Rising Star’s Challenge practice on the campus of Long Island University in Brooklyn, if he thought both he and his backcourt running mate Victor Oladipo could replicate what the Golden State Warrior have going on.
The Warriors have arguably the NBA’s most potent combination in the backcourt in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Interesting that they are both second generation NBA players as Klay’s father Mychal played in the League and number of years as the first overall pick out of the University of Minnesota in 1978 by the Portland Trailblazers. Mychal won 2 championships also with the Lakers and currently works for them as a radio color commentator.
Steph’s father Dell was a sharp-shooter deluxe. People marvel the way Steph’s shoots it and rightfully so, but his daddy wasn’t no one’s slouch at all. And Dell, who now does color for the Charlotte Hornets, played in the era where the two-guard position (after coming out of Virginia Tech in the first round with the 15th pick) with the Michael Jordan’s, Reggie Miller’s, Allan Houston’s, Ray Allen’s just to name a short few was a sexy as the point guard position is now.
So with Steph and his partner Klay, you could see the money trail so to speak. Basketball was in their genes. But with Oladipo who was born in Maryland to non-athletic parents and Payton, no relation so Gary, they have to go about the business of setting their own gold star standard.
Payton out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, “yeah, Vick and I talk about it all the time. Our time is coming. We just have to keep getting better each and every day.” Payton who patterns his game after Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo who he considers as great leaders knows he needs to work on to work on his defense and his jump shot to seriously get to that next level.
The Magic who just fired their coach, Jacques Vaughn are in a coaching quagmire but that’s not stopping Oladipo from doing what he has to do. “I don’t have [a] clue. At the end of the day all I can do is continue to play hard as I can and just play basketball.
Oladipo and Payton both aspire to play on All-star Sunday, but will take this Rising Star’s Challenge experience (this is Oladipo’s second) as a glorified dress rehearsal. And if their combo works out and they become the next Curry and Thompson; of the East, that’d be great for the Magic. But, if they only reach the height of where the Washington Wizard’s and Bradley Beal are, then who can argue and fuss about that?
The Magic are a team with nice young talent. Oladipo and Payton are both interchangeable and athletic. Will they ever find and hire the right coach that will help them put the pieces together, is the real key.
Jerald L. Hoover
The World Team behind Minnesota’s supreme rookie Andrew Wiggins’ 22 points beat the USA Team 121-112 in a slop-fest. Game high honors were shared by his Minnesota teammate, Zach LaVine and Oladipo, who both play on the USA squad.