He Was THE WORST NBA PLAYER...But Then... 

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How do you go from possibly the worst player in the NBA to being a valuable piece on a championship level team? The incredible comeback story of Cameron Payne is unlike any other, and deserves an in depth look.
So let’s go from the very beginning all the way to last night when he scored 29 points in the conference finals. What up everybody, my name is Stefan and this is Heat Check. Let’s get into it.
Cameron Payne Sophomore Year: 20.2 PPG / 6.0 APG
After a strong sophomore year at Murray State, averaging 20 points and 6 assists per game, Payne entered the NBA draft and analysts compared him to Damian Lillard, predicting a bright future for him.
The fact that he was selected pretty high at number 14 confirmed all of that. So he was headed to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
That rookie year in 2016 OKC were making a big push in the playoffs so watching and kind of rooting for them, I caught a few highlights of Payne as well. Or I should say lowlights.
I distinctly remember watching Cameron struggle under the pressure. Even in the limited 4-5 minutes per game that he would get while Westbrook was getting a breather on the bench, Payne would always make his presence felt by having multiple turnovers, or missing open shots. If you take a look at some of the boxscores during that postseason, you would see lines like these:
4 minutes, zeros across the board and 2 turnovers. 7 minutes, 2 of 7 from the field and 2 turnovers of course. And this one from game 4 against golden state: 1:58 , 0 for 1 and 1 turnover. Now that’s what I call making your presence felt. In less than 2 minutes, basically everything he did on the court was bad for the team.
Dude would get subbed in with a 9 point lead and in just a few possessions, that would instantly melt down to 2 or 3 and Russell would need to get back in the game
That playoff run of course he would become more famous for his pre-game dance routines that he did with Westbrook, than his actual play.
And shoutout to my friend Gorjan who still laughs to this day about my horror stories from watching Cameron Payne on the Thunder. That was legit stressful.
When KD left the team in that off season, OKC tried to retool the roster, and Cam was sent to the Chicago Bulls in a trade package for Taj Gibson.
What followed was the most blunt statement that I’ve ever read about a player. Check out this quote from someone within the Bulls organization:
We knew the second practice that he couldn’t play at an NBA level. The only reason it took two practices was because we thought maybe it was nerves in the first one… Any Bulls coach who says differently is lying.
Wow, this has to be the harshest thing I’ve ever heard about a player by far, and back then it only confirmed my initial impressions about this guy.
As I just found out yesterday, JJ Reddick thought the same thing as well.
So it was pretty much a unanimous opinion that Cameron Payne was not an NBA player.
So from a Chicago Bulls team that ended the season 13th in the East, Payne signed 2 10 day contracts the following season with an even worse team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who ended the year as 14th in the East or second to last of course, with a record of 19 and 63.
This is important to know because he wasn’t picked up by anyone after those 10 day contracts, and if you’re not worthy of playing for the worst teams in the league, then you must really be bad at basketball, I don’t know how else to put it.
In November of 2019 Payne basically found himself out of the league, and had to sign with a team in China. This is without a doubt the lowest point of his career. Just a few years after getting drafted, being universally seen as a horrible player, and having to go down to an inferior level of competition just to play, that had to have been demoralizing.
After a short stint in the Chinese league, Cameron returns to the states and signs with the G-League team Texas Legends.
Now this is where things get interesting and where fortune plays a big role in this story.
In the G-League at the beginning of 2020, Payne slowly started to get his confidence back, and played well. In 15 games there he averaged 23 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists.
So when the NBA returned to the bubble, the Suns, led by Monty Williams who was an assistant in OKC when Cam was there needed a player to fill out the roster, and based on that relationship, as well as his recent performances they called Payne.
He knew that it’s now or never for him, so this second opportunity that he got, he wasn’t going to waste it.
In the bubble, in 23 minutes per game he had a strong outing of 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists while shooting 48.5% from the field and 51.7% from downtown.

Δημοσιεύτηκε στις


24 Ιούν 2021





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Hiroshi Nagoya
Hiroshi Nagoya Πριν 4 ημέρες
Interesting report; so sad Phoenix did not win the League Championship. Congrats Suns for the Conference Championship.
SpookaDizzle 1
SpookaDizzle 1 Πριν 4 ημέρες
Dude literally has that Iverson agility in him
Vagina Slayer
Vagina Slayer Πριν 6 ημέρες
Im not hating on him, but he always had atleast 1 out of bounds TO(stepping on the line) and 1 of his layups blocked every game in the finals, dunno if that was the reason he barely played in game 6.
jon 1
jon 1 Πριν 8 ημέρες
No one who makes it to the nba is a horrible or bad basketball player you tripping
JG14 Gerhard_Bar
JG14 Gerhard_Bar Πριν 3 ημέρες
it's always comparatively speaking...we know there's levels to this. the worst of group A should still be better than the best in group B. but we got mans in group A thinking one of em wasn't really cutting the mold. doesn't take away from how well he's developed now💯, ain't no one able to shit on his progress and that he's finally getting the minutes necessary to thrive. all this is just the strong impression he was giving people in the league☠.
Moe Flood
Moe Flood Πριν 8 ημέρες
He wasn't the worst worst but he wasn't good or decent lol
Peter Latimar Andrada
Peter Latimar Andrada Πριν 8 ημέρες
He is good.... But still a liability to the team... Most game that i watch, that he is playing, he is always get blocked everytime he go the hoops... Not once but sometimes twice in a game. 🙂 Just sayin....
Allan Dexter14
Allan Dexter14 Πριν 9 ημέρες
Sonic the hedgehog
30. Raihan Abdillah
30. Raihan Abdillah Πριν 10 ημέρες
Simmons and Kuzma : Wowie, you're down bad Probably Simmons and Kuzma like few years later? : *Playing for Shanghai Sharks*
Diego Moreno Lopez
Diego Moreno Lopez Πριν 10 ημέρες
I literally liked cam Payne because he would dance with Westbrook lol that’s the only reason
Giderz Πριν 11 ημέρες
Not to mention his finals performances, which I was watching game 4, mans looked fresh
dread. Πριν 12 ημέρες
He wasn’t bad at all tbh. He’s always hustled and played his role. Minutes and confidence do wonders for players. You can’t give up on them.
Jelani Πριν 12 ημέρες
Cam may be new favorite player.
Kyle Lee
Kyle Lee Πριν 12 ημέρες
Easily unlike Kwame Brown he put the work in and actually wanna play
J Jones
J Jones Πριν 16 ημέρες
Nows it's funny cause he has more points in the finals than JJ Reddick
Yolo Boy
Yolo Boy Πριν 18 ημέρες
Repent and get right with God before it’s too late, transfer your trust from yourself to the Savior
C Kirk
C Kirk Πριν 18 ημέρες
I love a good success story. But redemption stories, nothing tops those. Takes double the work and hustle to rise again
Tommy Vasquez
Tommy Vasquez Πριν 18 ημέρες
He was not a “worst player”. He just wasn’t given enough time back then. But now in suns he is free to do as he wishes and because of that he can facilitate and/or score the basket that’s why he was able to shine in Phoenix
James ,
James , Πριν 19 ημέρες
He’s still not that good lmao
Coming Down the Pipe
Coming Down the Pipe Πριν 19 ημέρες
He still sucks
James ,
James , Πριν 19 ημέρες
Real shit
Wilt Chamberlain
Wilt Chamberlain Πριν 20 ημέρες
Anyone who played a year in China will suddenly be a good player. Like Hassan Whiteside.
Jay Smoove
Jay Smoove Πριν 20 ημέρες
The city of Phoenix loves this man. His hustle can’t be questioned
life.lessons Πριν 20 ημέρες
Cam Payne moves like Manu also left handed
numbers the best
numbers the best Πριν 20 ημέρες
Bro i knew Cameron Payne was gonna be good since Chicago
Tim Coker
Tim Coker Πριν 20 ημέρες
Late bloomer.
Austin Figueroa
Austin Figueroa Πριν 21 ημέρα
I’m glad he fought his way back to the league and found a home with the Suns. We love him here in Phoenix.
Noss From721
Noss From721 Πριν 21 ημέρα
Why I have this in my recommended
Dave Barnett
Dave Barnett Πριν 21 ημέρα
He learned to play his game, how he is comfortable
Shaan Keole
Shaan Keole Πριν 21 ημέρα
Did he get a ring with the raptors?
Lil Viruz
Lil Viruz Πριν 22 ημέρες
they give anyone a chance but jeremy lin
JuniorTube Πριν 22 ημέρες
0:43 he is standing next to booker
SpaceTimeManipulator STM
SpaceTimeManipulator STM Πριν 22 ημέρες
Wow holy crap, he was like me in my first season on 2k21
Roman Shocker
Roman Shocker Πριν 22 ημέρες
He can't be the worst with that speed on the ball hell na
Villain Capone
Villain Capone Πριν 22 ημέρες
TRE D Πριν 22 ημέρες
We love Cam in Phoenix
natz Πριν 22 ημέρες
Yeah one of the greatest comeback. Like he is now a different kind of player.
Luguentz Dort
Luguentz Dort Πριν 22 ημέρες
All that dancing with Russ made him play bad so then he got away and stopped dancing he played good
James Connors II
James Connors II Πριν 22 ημέρες
Look who he's standing next to @ :43 they teammates now. Lol. Look like they was cool from the start. Opposites cam always having the showboat mentality and then booker laid back and just chill like batman
B L Πριν 22 ημέρες
Can’t believe nobody mentioning that the Raptors helped revive this man
Juuz Πριν 23 ημέρες
Bandaid ring
Ray Bidwell
Ray Bidwell Πριν 23 ημέρες
4- 5 minutes is not enough time to get into the rhythm you need to perform. 6th man of the year is a hard reward to capture
BC cheva
BC cheva Πριν 23 ημέρες
His strides are so long..extremely hard to D up bc he bye you! “ BYE U!!!!”
youtube name
youtube name Πριν 23 ημέρες
its not even these players be bad its their orgs
Robert Pavard
Robert Pavard Πριν 23 ημέρες
Bulls and reddick down bad now and cp hella up
cheeseburger12 Πριν 24 ημέρες
I thought this was about Jack Haley and his crucial role as sitting next to Dennis Rodman in street clothes as the 13th man as the Bulls went on to win 72 games. My bad.
W R Πριν 24 ημέρες
Payne wasn't bad. I've been an OKC fan since well before he got there. He was one of the only players on the team that could create their own 3 point shot. Even if he wasn't great at it, he had a skillset they needed.
Tyrone Harris
Tyrone Harris Πριν 24 ημέρες
Crazy the guy okc could’ve had was drafted in the same draft class one picked ahead of him aka D BOOK Imagine him rocking out wit kd and russ mann
alvin espano
alvin espano Πριν 24 ημέρες
cameron dance
Elijah Millender
Elijah Millender Πριν 24 ημέρες
Dude ballin like George Iceman Gervin Cam RootBeer Float Payne lmao
Jian Πριν 24 ημέρες
lol I never even noticed this guy when I watched the CBA lol.
Tyler Would
Tyler Would Πριν 24 ημέρες
I’m a Suns fan and still say “noooo” every time he shoots a jumper lol or tries to drive on a 7ft center .. He’s fast and agile but I hope we get a better bench PG next season. He gets cocky after a little and tries too much when there’s way too many other players that can do more. Sorry cam, thanks for your time, hope you get the ship but I wouldn’t mind if we traded him
7:36 , ha that wasn't a travel???
LegitCool Gaming
LegitCool Gaming Πριν 24 ημέρες
Did I swear when Cameron Payne was on the thunder he was solid and he was on of my favorite thunder players
jhova187 Πριν 24 ημέρες
Always saw him on random teams, just thought he was a funny looking dude that got no minutes. Glad he got a Second chance!! Awesome video 🙌🏽
Cyrus Farid Zanjani
Cyrus Farid Zanjani Πριν 24 ημέρες
I remember talking to fellow Bulls fans about who to keep, Kris Dunn or Cam Payne, they were both terrible. Rough days.
Dahsaan Van Duyne-Webb
Dahsaan Van Duyne-Webb Πριν 24 ημέρες
Son went to the Shanghai Sharks and came back ballin💀
Packin' Heat
Packin' Heat Πριν 25 ημέρες
"Sonic The Hedgehog" - Flight
I can see why Cameron Payne picked the Jersey #15 that was his number on the Dephchart
Cameron (Pain In The A- To The Clippers)Payne is a big piece of the Phoenix Suns offense.!!!
DIBONAA808thegreat Πριν 25 ημέρες
Nice story bro 😎 keep it up 👍🏽
ΔϟK KΔV Πριν 25 ημέρες
The reality is context matters for a lot of these young players. They are coming in sooo young and it takes some players 2-4 years to develop. So many layers to each situation. Some players need the right system to succeed or just the right coach.
A.Williams Productions
A.Williams Productions Πριν 25 ημέρες
Lol Cam Payne is not the worst player in the league. Lol
Wayne Sun
Wayne Sun Πριν 25 ημέρες
Probably lack of confidence caused him alot. But since his fired up & his moves and floaters are smooth!!!!.
The Unknown
The Unknown Πριν 25 ημέρες
How can you stop those crazy mid range lay ups.
Chantubegamer. Πριν 25 ημέρες
Man changed his game around and improved. RESPECT 💯
U 8
U 8 Πριν 25 ημέρες
this dude is super average on nba2k nobody use him but people trip on bolbol like hes GOATed! #underdogz
CaRL DJuSTIceD Πριν 25 ημέρες
So felicio with the bulls is better than him? 😂😂😂
عرفي Πριν 25 ημέρες
Remember when some NBA players started laughing about some player because he is playing & acting different in the bubble like Jayson Tatum saying “​hold on, he don't normally play like that! he acting different" they were talking about Payne 💀
Rn-WIlX Πριν 25 ημέρες
Man i never knew he is former Shark i didn't know it was this bad 💀
Lukie2131 Πριν 25 ημέρες
I will bet Chris Paul gave him some lessons he use to be erratic and fast now when he plays he takes his time finds the open player and is confident. I love the way he's been playing this season.he probably had the best game of his life in the playoffs.
Mark Uy
Mark Uy Πριν 25 ημέρες
Meticulous Πριν 25 ημέρες
the thing is... he still made the nba, so he's still really good
Mr. Perfect
Mr. Perfect Πριν 26 ημέρες
It was true! He Was not good enough! But he kept trying and got better
Prokid93 Πριν 26 ημέρες
This is an inspiration 🪐🪐🪐
brendan 😮‍💨
brendan 😮‍💨 Πριν 26 ημέρες
never forget when him and westbrook had the best handshakes
Sol Sol
Sol Sol Πριν 26 ημέρες
Square root of 15 is 3 so that's why CP3 learns from CP15 on how to carry the Suns 😂
Paul Leyva
Paul Leyva Πριν 26 ημέρες
what the heck is that lighting? haha
Ray Gonzales
Ray Gonzales Πριν 26 ημέρες
"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change."
Max Meier
Max Meier Πριν 26 ημέρες
He watched a lot of Trae Young clips on youtube apparently, and it worked.
Gabriel Antonio Garcia
Gabriel Antonio Garcia Πριν 26 ημέρες
Bruh I don’t think u should say he is the worst nba player but you could say he wasn’t the best since u don’t have evidence well ur not aloud to reply btw
Aeddon Πριν 27 ημέρες
I have an immense amount of respect CP15, seeing someone who was a lottery pick and then everyone saying their undeserving of it and can’t play at an NBA level would be the end for most players but he grinder harder than ever before and now is our 6 man who helped us win that pivotal game 2 vs the Clips with 29 9 and 0 TO, all of us in Phoenix love Cam Payne
SyxxPunk Πριν 27 ημέρες
Payne should be a contender for the MIP award.
Kappa gang
Kappa gang Πριν 27 ημέρες
At least he was good at dancing with Westbrook in OKC
DOMINO Πριν 27 ημέρες
The nba got him out but he came back shining with the suns
DOMINO Πριν 27 ημέρες
Man this maked me happy and i do not know why
Mrbeltr 58
Mrbeltr 58 Πριν 27 ημέρες
Cameron Payne really became my fav player
All Seeing Thai
All Seeing Thai Πριν 27 ημέρες
Now he’s in the NBA Finals 🔥
Ng Poh Yee
Ng Poh Yee Πριν 27 ημέρες
all star next year?
Kenny McGraw
Kenny McGraw Πριν 27 ημέρες
I thought this was about Byron Mullens from the thumbnail. But alas, he never changed :(
Matthew Masse
Matthew Masse Πριν 27 ημέρες
We gonna talk about Ben Simmons???
Harvey Gaming
Harvey Gaming Πριν 27 ημέρες
Heat Check your Loko
Jeromy Morel
Jeromy Morel Πριν 27 ημέρες
Yessir cam never lost doubt
Tankster McGuff
Tankster McGuff Πριν 27 ημέρες
3:43 shiit most the free agents in the nba are better than 90% of the world at basketball
Fit Potato
Fit Potato Πριν 27 ημέρες
Donny Zonta
Donny Zonta Πριν 28 ημέρες
0:44 D. Booker next to him. A good beginning to good ending. Jazz all the way
CLUB BIZARRE Πριν 28 ημέρες
so that man could potentially become an NBA champion soon now... that's the most impressive comeback you can imagine on a personal level
Ted Black
Ted Black Πριν 28 ημέρες
Payne to the Finals. What a story if they win it.??
Michael X
Michael X Πριν 28 ημέρες
This IS staggering! I was certain we got fleeced for Gibson! I couldn’t wait for the Bulls to get rid of this guy.. now this?!
Postwar Pryor
Postwar Pryor Πριν 28 ημέρες
Reminds me of Kurt Warner
Manuel Preciado
Manuel Preciado Πριν 28 ημέρες
He’s still trash lol
Jovin Πριν 28 ημέρες
Stop hating he’s been balling.
antho Πριν 28 ημέρες
All the criticisms early on were valid af
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