Payton's disappearing act draws fine

June 7, 2004 at 8:32 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 7 (UPI) -- The day after Game One of the NBA Finals, Gary Payton gave the media exactly what he gave the Los Angeles Lakers -- virtually nothing.

Payton refused to talk to the media Monday afternoon, drawing a fine from the league and explanations from coaches, teammates and opponents for his behavior both on and off the court.

As the Lakers completed their practice at the Staples Center, Payton walked off the court toward the locker room. When asked if he was going to talk, he snarled, "In a minute," without looking back.

That was the last anyone saw of him. About 50 media members encircled Payton's podium waiting for him to return until about 10 minutes remained in the 30-minute session, when Lakers spokesman John Black announced, "He's not coming out."

An NBA spokesman said Payton was fined $5,000 for failing to make himself available to the media.

Payton scored three points on 1-of-4 shooting Sunday.

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