NBA legend Gary Payton says his era of basketball was best

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There are two debates that will forever engulf NBA fans – who is the greatest basketball player of all time and which era of basketball was better?

Gary Payton recently weighed in on the latter.

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Gary Payton attends Game Two of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

Gary Payton attends Game Two of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.
(Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Basketball Hall of Famer and nine-time All-Star said in an interview with the Boardroom he believes the style of basketball played in the 1990s was the best era for the sport. He expressed how he wasn’t a big fan of the way the game has evolved into more fast breaks and long-distance shooting.

“It’s different because we were in a different era. Our era was us taking pride in more than one thing; this era is about scoring. Our era was about defense, being rough, getting out there, and getting it done,” Payton said.

FILE:  Gary Payton of the Seattle Supersonics with the ball during a National Basketball Association game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.

FILE:  Gary Payton of the Seattle Supersonics with the ball during a National Basketball Association game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA.
(Matt A. Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“This era is about shooting threes, getting up and down, and entertainment. It is what it is, and I can’t knock anyone for it. We might have our opinion about it and judge it, but I played in what I think was the best era ever. I think the ’90s was the best era ever.”

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls looks to make a basket as Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton defends in the fourth quarter of the 18 March game in 1997 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls looks to make a basket as Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton defends in the fourth quarter of the 18 March game in 1997 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
(VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)

Payton was the No. 2 overall pick of the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1990 NBA Draft and immediately became a defensive force on the team. He was a nine-time First Team All-Defensive Team while on the Sonics and helped the team to the NBA Finals in 1996 before losing to the Chicago Bulls.

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Payton would win his only ring as a member of the Miami Heat in 2006.

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