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Heat's power trio not assured of NBA crown, says Payton

August 26, 2010 11:08pm

Tags: Miami Heat
Like the rest of the NBA world, future Hall of Famer Gary Payton is not sold to the idea that the partnership forged amongst Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade would result into instant championship for the Miami Heat.

The nine-time NBA All-Star considered as one of the greatest point guards ever, believes winning an NBA title still boils down to hard work and not talent alone.

"You just have let them play and see what happens. Not just because you have three great guys mean you’re gonna win," Payton told GMANews.TV during a break in his team’s practice Wednesday for the 2010 NBA Asia Challenge.

Payton, the only point guard to win the NBA Defensive Player Award in 1996, is in the country for the first time as part of the entourage of the biggest NBA event to be held here this year.

Together with him in the group are fellow All-Stars Chris Webber, Glenn Rice and Mitch Richmond, as well as NBDL stalwarts Darnell Lazare, Chris McCray, Mark Tyndale and former Tlak 'N Text import Richie Frahm.

Among them, only he and Rice are certified owners of an NBA championship ring. Rice having claimed his own while with the Los Angeles Lakers (2000) and Payton with the Miami Heat under Pat Riley.

Despite his close affiliation with the Heat, Payton wouldn't consider Miami a cinch for the crown – more so the Finals – as many experts believe the moment Bosh and James agreed to join Wade in South Florida in what was considered the biggest free agency acquisitions in history.

'You can't predict teams. They have to go out and play basketball, then see what happens," said Payton, the No. 2 overall pick by the Seattle Supersonics during the 1990 Rookie Draft.

Earlier, Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo also expressed reservations about the Heat, saying they haven’t proven anything yet.

Rondo added the Celtics or any other team shouldn’t be afraid of Miami, saying he’d rather fear the reigning, two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers.

Payton, known as "The Glove" for his tenacious defense, agreed.

"You have five to play out this game here, not just three," he said.

The 42-year old guard out of Oregon State also doesn’t agree with the observation of former New York Knicks coach and now ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy that the Heat are capable of winning, and even surpassing the winningest league record in NBA history of 72-10 established by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1996.

"I don’t believe that. That's a prediction. You don't go with predictions," Payton said.

Ironically, the year Jordan and the Bulls registered that greatest regular season record, they went all the way to the Finals and beat Payton and the Sonics for the crown in six games. – RCJ/JVP, GMANews.TV
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