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Gary Payton II returns to number 0

After a brief hiatus, GPII has reclaimed his number.

Gary Payton II standing on the court Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Some things just look right. Klay Thompson donning a sailor’s hat while boating across the bay. Steph Curry flashing four fingers in succession after getting fouled while swishing in a three pointer. Draymond Green flexing his muscles after scoring in the paint.

And Gary Payton II wearing the number 0.

Thankfully, we’re going to get all of those soon. After a brief hiatus, Payton is back to his old number, and he took to Instagram to celebrate the newly-minted Golden State Warriors jerseys rolling off the press.

We’ve known for a while that Payton would wear the number 0 for the 2023-24 NBA season. It was the number he wore for his first two seasons with the Dubs, but when he came over in a deadline deal in February, he joined a Warriors team that had given that number to Donte DiVincenzo. And so Payton was forced to adapt, and he chose the number 8, which was the sixth different number he’d worn during his NBA career — he wore 0 with both the Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks, 00 with the Portland Trail Blazers, the numbers 4 and 20 with the Washington Wizards, and 23 with the Los Angeles Lakers.

He told Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports Bay Area over the summer that he’d be wearing No. 0 once again, after DiVincenzo had signed a four-year deal with the New York Knicks.

Still, it’s fun to see it actually on a jersey. It fits him much better than the 8. Some things just work.

I’m not sure if Payton has any particular reason behind the No. 0, but some numbers just look good on people, and that’s definitely the case with him. In all, just nine players have worn the number 0 for the Warriors: Payton, DiVincenzo, D’Angelo Russell, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick McCaw, Toney Douglas, Dajuan Wagner, Aaron Miles, and the first Dub to ever don a zero, the agent himself, Gilbert Arenas.

Another three have worn No. 00: Jonathan Kuminga, Tony Delk, and Robert Parish.

Here’s hoping that a return to his older number helps Payton replicate his sensational 2021-22 season.

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