It seems that Gary Payton II found his home in the NBA after several years of trying to establish himself in the league. The 29-year-old point guard, the son of a legendary Gary Payton, played as many games this season with the Warriors as he did in his entire NBA career prior to this year.

He is liked by the fans as well as his teammates and the head coach Steve Kerr. Ahed of Game 3 of the Finals, Steph Curry was asked how Payton became such a beloved figure so fast in Golden State. According to the three-time NBA champion, it’s his journey to this point.

“It’s I think probably a lot of just his name first and foremost in terms of basketball history,” Curry said. “It’s so hard to make this league in general, but all even harder when I would feel like the odds of the NBA’s player’s son following the dad’s footsteps.

“It’s a difficult challenge and journey for him coming out of college and trying to find his way, G League, training camp offers, bouncing around the league all over the place and then finally finding a home.

“And last year him coming in and making an impact, I think he was on two-way last year and he was available, but not really. And then knowing he could really help us this year and then he actually proven to be an amazing difference maker. I think fans really resonate with that. They love the way he approaches the game, his energy.

“He changes games without really having crazy scoring outputs. It’s just the stuff that you just get so much energy from watching him defend and disrupt and do all that type of stuff. Fans love that and we love it too as a teammate.

“So, it’s been awesome to watch his growth and development this year. Him coming off that injury that moment he checked back in the game was an amazing response from the crowd that gave us a lot of juice. I’m sure more that to come in the series.”