20 is a surprisingly popular NBA jersey number, worn by many. After reviewing the candidates, it's clear to me that Gary Payton is the best NBA athlete to ever wear number 20.
"The Glove" as he was known, was taken with the number 2 overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics out of Oregon State. While Payton could certainly shoot the rock, he made his fame by setting his teammates up and taking the ball from his opponents. It seems that his nickname refers to his tight defensive coverage and limitation of his opponents' ability to score while he was guarding them.
In fact, as of this writing, Payton ranks 4th all-time in NBA steals (2,445). He led the NBA in thefts for the 1995-96 season with 231.
- 8,966 assists (8th all-time)
- 21,813 points (31st all-time)
- 1.8 steals per game (23rd all-time)
- 1995-96 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
- 1,132 three-pointers
sources: wikipedia.com, basketball-reference.com, youtube.com,