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Photos: Long line-up at Richmond Best Buy for Gary Payton meet-and-greet

"We were super excited when we heard Payton would be in town."

The long line-ups outside Richmond's Best Buy location, Lansdowne Centre, on Saturday wasn't because of a good deal.

Rather, it was the chance to meet former NBA player Gary Payton.

Fans of all ages with basketballs and jerseys in hand lined up as early as 11:45 a.m. to secure a spot to see Payton who was in Richmond from 2 to 3 p.m. for an autograph session.

The line-up started outside the Best Buy store and looped around the mall's building to the south entrance before looping back.

Christopher Francis, 12, Aviv Chen, 12, and Maayan Chen, 9, were a few of many fans who arrived early at 12 p.m.

"We were super excited when we heard (Payton) would be in town," said Aviv and Maayan.

Francis, who travelled from Ladner, added that the line-up was longer than expected despite him arriving early.

"I'd want to ask what his favourite NBA player is," said Francis.

Meanwhile, other fans who arrived shortly before 2 p.m. were also shocked at the long line outside the building.

Richmond residents Ruby Ma and Eric Lo told the Richmond News they knew they "needed to come" when they found out about Payton arriving in the city.

"Payton is so funny and seeing him makes me so happy and his smile is so infectious," said Ma, adding she has watched all his media interviews.

Lo has been a fan of Payton since he was young and said seeing the length of the line-up was shocking.

"I didn't expect the little kids to know Gary, but it's great to see how well-known he is with the younger generation," said Lo.

"I don't know if we'll get to see him but we hope we do."

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