Gary Payton says John Stockton was harder to guard than Michael Jordan

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

His reasoning a bit cloudy, but The Glove recently said John Stockton was his most difficult matchup.

The Seattle SuperSonics and Utah Jazz put on some very good matchups in the mid-to-late 90s with the two teams featuring Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp going against John Stockton and Karl Malone while Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls waited to see who they'd eventually face in the NBA Finals.

Jordan is the public majority's pick of the best player of their generation and would therefore probably be the most difficult to guard, but Payton -- a Hall of Fame defender -- recently told fellow panelists on Fox Sports 1 that his matchups against Stockton were actually tougher than guarding Jordan.

The Glove's reasoning is a little convoluted considering it seems like he's putting more weight on the fact that the Jazz and Sonics played so often, but it's interesting that a man known as a great defender would single Stockton out like that.

For what it's worth, Stockton averaged 14.1 points and and three turnovers in 47 regular season games against Payton's Sonics -- but he also shot an impressive 51.2 percent from the field in those games.

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