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Gary Payton, two-thirds of Run TMC lead Hall of Fame finalists

Feb 15, 2013, 12:58 PM EDT

Image (1) gpayton-thumb-250x375-13103.jpg for post 2389

It’s time for The Glove to be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Gary Payton — one of the greatest point guards of his generation, a defensive force, a nine-time All-Star and the face of Seattle Sonics basketball (with all due respect to Jack Sikma) — is the leader of the finalists for the Hall of Fame class of 2013.

Payton told ProBasketballTalk that this was not something he expected growing up in Oakland.

“It’s showing a lot of people have respected the things I’ve done in basketball and it’s showing I’ve done a lot in basketball,” Payton said. “And I’m really happy for it. Not a lot of people can get in the Hall of Fame, it’s a great honor. I hope that I can make it.”

The rest of the finalists include two-thirds of the Warriors Run TMC from the 1990s (and the other guy is already in) plus a Knicks legend who deserves it. There is another round of voting to pare this group down, with the class of 2013 to be announced Final Four weekend in April. The enshrinement happens in September.

In addition to Payton the finalists are:

• Bernard King. The Knicks swingman was one of the greatest pure scorers of all time. He averaged 22.5 points per game during a 15-year career and had some monster playoff runs, like 1984 when he averaged 34.8 points per game. More than that or the four All-Star games or two All-NBA First Teams, it was his influence on a lot of players coming up that matters. Seriously, this guy needs to be in. That he’s not is just wrong.

• Mitch Richmond. He was one third of Golden State’s Run TMC with Chris Mullen (already in the Hall) and fellow nominee Tim Hardaway. Richmond could score averaging 21 points a game for his career, was a six-time All-Star and has a gold medal.

• Tim Hardaway. The standard against which all other crossovers are judged. He won a gold medal and was a five-time All-Star as part of Run TMC in the Bay Area.

• Maurice Cheeks. The great Philadelphia Sixers guard (and current Oklahoma City Thunder assistant) is a four time NBA All-Star, was named to the NBA All-Defensive team four times, and won an NBA ring.

• Spencer Haywood. One of the more graceful big men of all time, he is a four-time All star, plus has both an NBA championship ring and a gold medal.

• Others on the list of finalists include college coaches Jerry Tarkanian, Guy Lewis (University of Houston and Phi Slamma Jamma) and Rick Pitino (don’t tell Celtics fans he was an NBA coach, they’ll deny it). Also Celtics coach Tom Heinsohn, already in as a player, is nominated as a coach because he won two titles as the head man for the Celtics.

The two women nominated are Dawn Staley (three time Gold Medalist and five time WNBA All Star) and Sylvia Hatchell (North Carolina women’s coach).

Also voted in for sure are Roger Brown (a four time ABA All-Star), Richie Guerin (the feisty six-time All-Star guard for the Knicks), Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt (he should have been in already), Russ Granik (David Stern’s former right hand man), and George Raveling for a lifetime achievement award.

  1. stinkwrinkles - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    Doesn’t seem like a very strong HoF class

  2. qpoiu1 - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    It was amazing to see him guarding MJ….glad to see him on the way to the HOF

    • 808raiderinparadise - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      My favorite player ever, THE GLOVE … you just won’t find PG’s that play DEFENSE like Gary did, don’t even think he could dunk the ball either, always used the glass, played hard as nails, rebounded and scrapped. Talked a whooooolllleeeeeeeeeee lotta smack too, but he was feirce competitior.

      One of most underrated point guards ever ….. hands down, so glad he got that ring on his way out with MIAMI.

      Had his shoes with the velcro strap that covered all the laces !!! yeaaaa boiiiieeeee. childhood coming back.

      If he were in his prime it would be awesome to watch im battle Westbrook and Rose and CP3, watch him play real D on them and talk all game.

      Throwing dumbells in the wieght room at Drunk Vin Baker, Alley oops to the rainman (kemp) schrempf! MCkelvaine, hershey hawkins, sam perkins …. man.

  3. Kansachusetts - Feb 15, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    If Rick Pitino makes the Hall of Fame, I’ll picket the induction ceremony.

    • Kansachusetts - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      To paraphrase Woody Allen, “What a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.”

  4. dacapt704 - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    I am going to shout the name BERNARD KING every year until this happens…injustice SMH

  5. LPad - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    looking back on it, the Warriors really dropped the ball when they traded Mitch away.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 15, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      wasn’t he finished not to long after the trade.
      he was good, TMC was fun to watch.

      • LPad - Feb 19, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Actually, he was only 25 and would go to avg more than 20 pts a game for seven more seasons. I thought he was older too but I guess it just seems that way because he got stuck spending the rest of his career with the Kings and Wizards.

  6. GT - Feb 15, 2013 at 3:01 PM

    King was awesome, totally deserving. Heinsohn has the credits and should be in as well, especially over Pitino in that category.

  7. skinsfanwill - Feb 15, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Who did Bernard King he piss off in his day? He should have been in a long time ago.

  8. felisberto - Feb 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    what about Shawn Kemp?

  9. johnlink00 - Feb 15, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    If Ray Guy isn’t it, the whole thing is a sham.

    • macdaddyspeed - Feb 15, 2013 at 5:46 PM

      It was a sham until RUSH finally got in.

  10. scalfor3 - Feb 15, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    About damn time for Bernard King. Dude could score with anyone.

    Well, anyone except Wilt.

    • badintent - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Bernard King invented the block. He owned , patent it and sold fast food stores of it. He could shoot over ever big center in the NBA as soon as he beat his own defender. Even after his terrible knee injury , he came back to post solid numbers. Hank Gather in college was the only guy( well maybe AD) that had his quickness, hops and sweet shot.Hank, we still miss you , you died much too young in college.I would like to see both King and Gather get in . Gathers was one of the best college scorers to ever play Division II. He would have been a top 5 pick, Jerry West wanted to pick him in the draft.

  11. beagle11 - Feb 16, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    I wish the NBA had its own hall of fame. Way too many members in this Hall of Fame. Totally diminishes the achievements of the truly great. I wish it was more like baseball and football where you had to be one of the best players in the league for a long time to get in.

  12. blazertop - Feb 16, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    Hope Guy V. Lewis makes it in while he is still living. He did a lot more than just coach Phi Slamma Jamma

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