The Glove had his fair share of moments in front of the camera, and it wasn’t always basketball related. During the prime of his career and signature shoe line, Nike featured Gary Payton in a few, unforgettable commercials that are, to this day, some of the best television promotions produced by The Swoosh. Gary was versatile – he dressed up as an investigator, a boxer, and he stepped on dwarfs – first and foremost, but his candid and extroverted attitude is probably what attracted Nike’s promotional team.
In this Olympic Diaries excerpt, Gary Payton reflects on some of his memorable Nike commercials and details untold stories that happened on set. Gary also discusses his appearance in one of the most noteworthy basketball movies ever made.
Alpha Project Commercial – “Dwarfs”
Gary Payton: “It was really fun filming the Alpha Project commercials. When Nike came out with that concept, I was really impressed. I was like, ‘Yeah, this is going to do it.’ I was playing really good at the time, so my fans started to catch onto it. It was really fun to participate in those commercials. One of my favorite commercials is when they had me stepping on the dwarfs. Nike always comes up with great concepts, and they were great at incorporating your personality, so you couldn’t say, ‘This doesn’t fit me, or that doesn’t fit me.’ Nike’s concepts are great. Another big shoe of the Alpha Project was the Presto. I remember that one being super popular, but I didn’t really get into that one like everybody else did.”