Watch Gary Payton II get hero’s welcome from Warriors fans

Golden State Warriors fans gave Gary Payton II a warm welcome in his first game back with the team since his acquisition at the trade deadline.

The Golden State Warriors made a move at the trade deadline to reunite with a member of their 2021-22 NBA championship team.

Gary Payton II, who had signed a three-year, $26.1 million contract with the Portland Trail Blazers, was reacquired by the Warriors, but there was a delay in his scheduled return due to issues with a physical. One month later, Payton officially made his return to the Warriors.

In Golden State’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Payton checked in during the first quarter and received a hero’s welcome from Warriors fans in attendance.

Warriors fans give Gary Payton II a standing ovation

After spending stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards before joining the Warriors in the 2020-21 season. Last year, Payton played his most games in a single season with 71, averaging 7.1 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals while shooting 61.6-percent from the field. In the playoffs, Payton averaged 6.5 points and 3.1 rebounds while recording a 65.9 field goal percentage.

Even after signing with the Trail Blazers, he didn’t make his season debut for them until January due to undergoing abdominal surgery. He played in 15 games with Portland, averaging 4.1 points and 2.6 rebounds while shooting 58.5-percent from the field.

When the Warriors acquired Payton at the trade deadline, he had failed his physical due to a right adductor injury. Although the Warriors contemplated action against the Trail Blazers, Chris Haynes of TNT and Bleacher Report revealed that the team opted against filing a grievance.

For the first time since Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics, Payton donned a Warriors uniform on Sunday, and received a hero’s welcome from the fanbase.

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