Gary Payton II discusses Steve Kerr’s contract extension

On Friday (Feb. 23), ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Steve Kerr has agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $35 million. The deal will make him the highest-paid coach in the NBA. As you would expect, Kerr’s new deal was a significant talking point during post-game interviews following the Golden State Warriors victory over the Hornets.

During his media availability, Gary Payton II discussed Kerr’s contract extension and the veteran head coach’s impact on his career. Payton II also credited Kerr for giving him his first real chance in the NBA and showing trust in his abilities throughout his career.

“Congrats to coach Steve, well deserved,” Payton II said. “Shout out to Mike Dunleavy for getting it done. Coach actually gave me my first shot, my first real shot…He told me, just be me, do what you do. We’re not worried about offensively. Just find your spots as time comes. Other than that, he literally just threw me in the fire. I ain’t have nobody. No organization or coaching staff gave me that confidence. He gave me that when I first got here. It ended up working out. I’m here today. I appreciate him and all the guys who believed in him and told him I could play and I can hoop.”

Payton II has dealt with two separate injuries this season. Now that he’s back in the rotation, he’s making an impact for the Warriors on the defensive end. Golden State will undoubtedly be hoping that he remains healthy moving forward due to his importance in the team’s second unit.

Golden State has now won eight of their last 10 games. They’re aiming to break into the top six of the Western Conference. If they continue on their current trajectory, they will put themselves in with a good chance of achieving that goal.

Story originally appeared on Warriors Wire