Gary Payton and Warren Sapp returned for the latest episode of BetUS Unfiltered with Dawn Lupul and opened the show with hints about Payton’s next venture — teased in Forbes — which includes mentorship… and perhaps coaching?
“What I’m trying to do is coach these guys; a lot of these guys don’t get coached nowadays,” Payton said, adding, “I just want nine good dogs, and we’re gonna go to war with anybody.”
Warren, however, was adamant about being uninterested in the coaching profession. The Hall of Famer said the attitude of today’s players doesn’t align with his style.
“There’s no such thing as coaching,” Sapp added. “If you ain’t a like, a follower, a comment, a supporter of it, then you’re hating. Son, I’m not hating. I’m trying to let you see what your deficiencies are.”
The conversation then turned to this year’s nominees for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, finalists determined in part by Payton, a 2013 inductee and a member of the North American and Women’s committee responsible for nominations.
“The  that we nominated to go to the Committee of 24, it’s going to be a good class,” Payton said. “On the 16th of May they’ll be voted for, and we’ll be part of that, to give a little more information on these guys.
“If y’all don’t take Ben Wallace, the Naismith is a fraud,” Sapp chimed in. “A four-time DPOY?”
When Payton compared Wallace to Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, a player known for a similar skillset, Sapp let loose:
“That was just flamboyance and foolishness with Dennis and they liked it,” Sapp said. “Ben Wallace came to work with his hair out and didn’t take no s–t, and they were afraid. That’s what that’s about.
“One of them you could hang out with and drink with, and one of them you were afraid to see outside the basketball court,” Sapp added. “That’s what it is. The basketball writers hold grudges.”
Warren is not a fan of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s criteria and selection process, either — and called out a couple of examples in particular, without naming names.
“It’s about stories and ‘Is it told on the NFL Network?’” said Sapp, also a 2013 inductee in his sport’s Hall. “Because there’s no way the 55th all-time leading rusher should be in the [Pro Football] Hall of Fame. And no quarterback with 208 touchdowns and 208 turnovers should be in the Hall of Fame. The numbers don’t lie. It’s a good story but it’s not a great career.”
All-Star All Good
Sapp and Payton were highly complimentary of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend in Atlanta, an event that saw Payton and Mountain Dew surprise two students from HBCUs with $100,000 in scholarships during the 3-point contest.
The crew also complimented the modified dunk contest, praising both the condensed format and the participants.
“A lot of people bowed out,” Payton said. “A lot of the stars bowed out, and then you go by who you see as the most athletic. So you see these guys as really athletic during the season, and them kids they picked, you may not know their name…”
“… but they were dunking that thing,” Sapp piped in.
“I think that was one of the best dunk contests I’ve been around in a couple of years,” Payton added, following praise of champion Anfernee Simons. “I thought it was great.”
As for the game? Payton said that despite limited attendance and low viewership, it was one worth having.
“You have to reward the players,” Payton said. “They’re looking forward to becoming an All-Star, especially with the first-time All-Stars.
“Think about [Mike] Conley becoming an All-Star — he was the longest-tenured player, didn’t make an All-Star [team] in 14 seasons,” Payton continued. “Then you’ve got Jaylon Brown, who just made it. You’ve gotta give these guys an opportunity.”
Before closing the show, Payton and Sapp weighed in on Dak Prescott’s new contract and Dallas, plus what each of the hosts thinks he’d be worth on today’s market. (Spoiler alert: It’s a lot.)
Then when Sapp finally had the floor for 99 Seconds, he once again took aim at defensive end J.J. Watt, who signed a $31 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals earlier this year. During the rant, Sapp criticized the Cardinals’ franchise for “throwing away some more damn money.”
“They lowered the salary cap,” Sapp added of the Cardinals and Watt. “And you spent that money on someone who’s not going to be there for 16 games.”