How Gary Payton Achieved a Net Worth of $120 Million

NBA player Gary Payton

Born in Oakland, California, on July 23, 1968, Gary “The Glove,” Dwayne Payton is the 15th most wealthy NBA player to ever play the game. Gary’s best known for his time with the Seattle SuperSonics and even during his great run in the 90s, being a Pro NBA player made him a tidy sum. However, there’s more to the story of Gary Peyton’s net worth than a number on a sheet of NBA statistics can tell you.

Gold Medal & Then Some

Most people who win at the Olympics are known for their accomplishment on that world stage. Certainly, if you win twice, most people notice that first, but not if you already play for the NBA. Gary, the Glove Payton, was getting seen long before he went on to the Olympic games. In 1990 he was named Sports Illustrated’s College Player of the year. Then right out of college, he was the Seattle SuperSonics 2nd overall pick for the first round draft. That would be impressive on its own, but Payton is known for so much more.

Gary Payton Day

Did you know that June 6th is Gary Payton Day? Winning basketball games and even gold medals doesn’t give you your own holiday. In order to get that you have to really impress a sports-loving mayor. The Mayor of Seattle declared the day in his mane back in 2000. We’re not quite sure how you would best celebrate such an event. We’ll try and remember our jerseys the next time we spend the summer in Seattle.


The list of Gary Payton’s achievements is longer than your arm. We’ve selected a few of the highlights to share here. Understanding just how famous Payton shows us how he made the big bucks. Some of the accomplishments, like winning gold at the Olympics contributed money to his accounts, while others just made his time more valuable when any team or company wanted to hire him.

  • On the Cover of Sports Illustrated and SLAM- Peyton was featured as the star on the cover of SI three times in 1990, 1994, and 1996, and had his face there in a secondary role as part of a team or other group three further times. He also made the cover of SLAM twice in June 1998 and March 2003.
  • For the NBA’s 60th Anniversary- ESPN added Payton and nine others to the top fifty players of all time.
  • One of a Kind- He is still the only Point Guard who has ever won the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
  • Movie Star- Gary has been in a handful of great films as well, including White Men Can’t Jump, Jump, Eddie, Like Mike and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part.
  • National Basketball Hall of Famer- Payton was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame on September 8, 2013. Given his storied career and many accomplishments in the sport, no one was surprised when it happened. He deserved it.

The Other Thing He’s Known For

There is one other thing that The Glove is known for. Sadly it’s not his charitable work, even though he’s done plenty of that. In 1996 he set Up the Gary Payton Foundation to help fund safe places for underprivileged youth to play in Oakland. He gave $100,000 to the East Oakland Youth Center where he played as a kid, to renovate their gym. He and his wife have helped raise awareness for HIV/AIDS, and he’s participated in events for the Make-a-WIsh Foundation as well as the Boys and Girls Club of America. The list goes on.

However, the thing he’s most known for, other than his mad-crazy basketball skills, is his mouth. In fact, Gary Payton may even have the foulest mouth in the history of the NBA. He once started trash talking about another player, Ron Harper, during a charity children’s event. Payton and Harper were making Valentines at a Children’s Hospital when his old habits got the best of him. The (then) 50-year-old Ball Player had more than a few unkind words to say, and unfortunately, he said them in front of a bunch of sick kids.

Talented Family

It seems that talent runs in the family. Payton’s son Gary Payton II is also a great player. Sadly, probably due entirely to his father’s nickname, Gary 2 is known as ‘The Mitten.’ Despite his unfortunate nickname, The Mitten is also an outstanding basketball player. Some of that probably has to do with his father. It’s not hard to guess that most famous athletes spend a lot of time outside playing with their kids. P2 is a left-handed shooter and a Point Guard for the Wizards. He’s still young, so we can’t say whether his career will be as illustrious as his famous father, but he’s a great player in his own right. Those are some big shoes to fill, but we think he’s up to the challenge.

Final Thoughts

With an all-time salary of around $104 Million plus all those awards, film deals and sponsorships, it’s not too hard to see how Gary Payton made his money. Simply put, he’s a fantastic player. His outspokenness and somewhat foul mouth probably added to his infamy while he played, but it didn’t stop the sponsors from wanting him as their spokesperson. We always loved to see him on the court, and now that he’s retired, we’re glad that you can get a recap of the greatest plays whenever you’re feeling nostalgic. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Shaquille O’Neal may be a little better known, but Gary Payton is one of the best ever to play the game.

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