Payton has had to earn his stripes the hard way. Regardless of his gene pool or his last name, he's had to work for every single minute of playing time.
That's why he's turned so many heads around the league, and even Shaquille O'Neal had to take some time to shout him out on live TV:
"Before you roll the tape, let me introduce him to America," Shaq said, as quoted by NBC Sports. "College at Oregon State, you probably know that. Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year both seasons, didn't get drafted, G League for 128 games, Defensive Player of the Year in the G League. 85 games, six seasons with four franchises. Played 10 games with the Warriors last season. Was cut this year, they re-signed him."
"The message I want to send to the little kids is that you should never give up," Shaq added. "If you never give up and you believe in yourself and believe in your passion, this is what you become. We all know who the father is and how he was raised, I know his mother too. But listen, the guy plays hard, he plays well and he never gave up. There's a lot of guys who say 'hey, I'm not going to make it and I'll just do whatever.' But this kid never gave up and he's finally getting his chance."