Former NBA players Gary Payton and Brian Shaw have signed an agreement with Wingstop to open three restaurants in southern California. The agreement is through Wingmen Ventures, LLC, a franchise investment group that includes Payton, Shaw, Dornell Griffin, Stanley Bae and Mike Shockley.
A nine-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Payton (right) is the only NBA player in history to accumulate 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 8,000 assists and 2,000 steals. Payton entered the NBA in 1990 as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. During his 17-year career he also played with the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
Shaw, who is currently assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, played with the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Lakers during a 15-year career that spanned from 1988 to 2003.
“The first time we ate at a Wingstop was in Oakland,” said Payton. “Then we found one in our area of southern California. It reached the point that we placed orders so often the restaurant recognized us over the phone. We figured we might as well open our own restaurants.”
This is Wingstop’s first partnership with NBA players, but not with professional athletes. The company also has franchise agreements with Cleveland Browns linebacker Willie McGinest, former NFL lineman Ron Stone and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Raheem Brock.
â€˜Sports and Wingstop go hand-in-hand,” said Bruce Evans, vice president of franchise development for Wingstop. â€˜We’re excited to announce this venture with Gary, Brian and their group. These guys have a lot of experience and entrepreneurial spirit on their team. We’ve had great success with sports figures as franchisees and expect to continue to expand those relationships.”
Dallas-based Wingstop was founded in 1994 and began franchising in 1997. Wingstop now has almost 600 locations open or under development nationwide.