The Lakers signed Payton as a free agent in July of 2003, after he had established himself as one of the most celebrated point guards in the league -- he was named to the NBA all-defensive team eight consecutive seasons (1994-2001), selected to the NBA All-Star team seven seasons (1994-98, 2000-01) and was named named the defensive player of the year in 1996 -- the first guard to win the award since Michael Jordan in 1987-88.
Payton stayed with the Lakers for one season, averaging 14.6 points, 5.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds while playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone. The "Fab Four" was dispersed after the Lakers were eliminated in the NBA Finals in 2004. Payton was traded to the Boston Celtics that August. Payton, nicknamed "The Glove" for his outstanding defense, is currently ranked 24th all-time in points (21,813), seventh in assists (8,966) and third in steals (2,445).
Feb. 12, 2011