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Gary Payton thinks the Warriors will make it to the NBA Finals

Sep 3, 2013, 3:32 PM PST

AP AP

The Glove is giving the Warriors some love. Oakland native and soon-to-be Basketball Hall of Famer Gary Payton went on the record with his love of the Dubs during his media rounds on Tuesday.

Payton believes the Warriors have what it takes to make it to the NBA Finals. The more experienced San Antonio Spurs beat the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs last season. After a breakout year for the franchise, Golden State added Andre Iguodala, and kept together the talented core of the team featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Harrison Barnes.

Here’s how Payton is rationalizing his pick:

“I think they’re going to be there,” Payton told Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. “I think they have a good chance of going. Picking up Andre (Igoudala), that was a good pickup for them. I think if (Andrew) Bogut plays well, they’re going to have a great chance. I just really do believe that. And I think Mark Jackson’s doing a great job down there.”

Payton was known for his trash talk, but he had nothing but positive things to say about the city of Oakland in the same interview.

“I’m really proud of my city. That’s why I mention it. People always think about our city as being the crime city. But they don’t understand. We’ve got a lot of good people coming out of there doing great things in athletics and doing a lot of things that’s positive. We want these kids to understand that they can do the same thing and come out and just keep our generation going that’s coming out of that area.”

Payton will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. His speech will surely be one of the highlights of the ceremony. Warriors fans should take his comments seriously. He was a nine-time All-Star, a defensive player of the year, and an NBA Champion. He knows what he’s talking about.

H/T – ProBasketballtalk.com for pulling the quotes.

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