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Payton vs. Parker could've had different meaning

Gary Payton and French rookie Tony Parker were almost forever intertwined by an offseason deal.

Updated: April 26, 2002, 6:33 PM ET
By Frank Hughes | Special to ESPN.com

As the first-round playoff series between the Seattle SuperSonics and San Antonio Spurs unfolds, one of the most intriguing matchups in the game is at point guard, where the trash-talking rookie Frenchman, Tony Parker, has been taking on the genteel veteran, Gary Payton.

That they are guarding each other is not as interesting as the fact that they very well could have been guarding each other on opposite sides of the fence.

You see, this past summer, the Sonics were not exactly certain ...

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