During the second round 2023 NBA playoffs basketball game on May 8, 2023, fans noticed something odd about Golden State Warriors player Gary Payton II. The Warriors were playing the Los Angeles Lakers when suddenly, Gary walked off the court, forcing the Warriors to play 4-on-5 for the next possession.
Startled fans couldn't see anything physically wrong with Gary — so what happened to him? One viral video may hold the answer to Gary Payton II's mystery mid-game disappearance. Here's what you need to know.
What happened to Gary Payton II?
One Twitter user, Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvonba), argued that Gary Payton II played an entire defensive possession with vomit in his mouth. Gary left the court only after the play was over, presumably to get sick. Michael posted a video of the game to Twitter, where Gary appeared to have his cheeks puffed out like he was holding something in his mouth.
It's currently unclear why Gary was sick, or if his illness was related to nerves. Thankfully, he did return to the game, if only to sit on the bench, so fans hope he's feeling better.
Following Gary's exit, the Warriors went viral a second time for a video that showed player Draymond Green attempting to make a pass ... that ended up aimed directly at Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy, who told him, "Great pass!" Draymond likely didn't think Gary would be on the bench for long and mistakenly threw it to where he thought his teammate would be.
It was a chaotic game that ended with a win for the Lakers, but fans are happy that all the players seem to be feeling well again.