Gary Payton in the Nike Zoom GP IV

Today in Performance Sneaker History: Gary Payton Earns Defensive Nod in Nike Zoom Payton IV

Did you ever wonder where Gary Payton’s nickname “The Glove” originated? No, it’s not because he was a huge Michael Jackson fan. As NBA.com explains, Payton’s name began in 1993 during the Western Conference Finals. Matched up against Kevin Johnson of the Phoenix Suns, Payton’s cousin called him and mentioned that he was “holding Johnson like a baseball in a glove.” Truth be told, there aren’t many players in NBA history that can match Payton’s defensive prowess.

On April 30, 2002, Payton was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team for the ninth time in his career. The only other player to earn this recognition as many times as The Glove was Michael Jordan, who made the team on nine occasions while in Chicago.

In 2002, Payton was wearing his final Nike signature model, the Nike Zoom Payton IV. Part of Nike’s innovative Alpha Project collection, there have yet to be any talks of re-releasing the futuristic looking Payton IV. However, this fall, Nike will be rolling out a retro release of Payton’s signature model, the Air Zoom Flight 98 (aka The Glove). Stick with Sneaker Report for more on the upcoming drop.

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