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It’s official: Gary Payton, Bernard King in Hall of Fame

Apr 8, 2013, 12:23 PM EDT

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

By the time the formal announcement is made, there is no suspense left in who makes the Naismith Hall of Fame. The news has leaked out. Occasionally incorrectly at first, but it leaks out.

Still, it’s now official — NBA legends Gary Payton and Bernard King will enter the hall this September. Here is an official rundown of the class.

• Gary Payton: A lock-down defender who is one of the greatest point guards of his generation, a nine-time All-Star, NBA Defensive Player of the Year, two-time gold medalist and the face of Seattle Sonics basketball. He has an NBA championship as well (Miami 2006).

“When I started playing basketball and got in the NBA I just wanted to be a guy in the NBA doing something,” Payton said in a televised interview on a stage in Atlanta with the other inductees. “But even as my career went on and started getting better and better I still never thought about being in the Hall of Fame.

“When I think about it, I don’t even feel like I’m here now. It’s such a dream.”

• 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. This was long overdue, glad to see it happen.

“I’d like to say this was a dream, but you can’t dream of something like this,” Kings said from the Hall of Fame stage.

• Richie Guerin: A native New Yorker who played for the Knicks, is a six-time All-Star guard known for his feisty style of play.

• Roger Brown: One of the great players of the ABA all time, a four time All-Star in that league.

• Oscar Schmidt: The Brazilian legend should already have been in, he is a five-time Olympian who remains the only player with more than 1,000 points in the Olympics.

• Russ Granik: David Stern’s former right hand man for years. Helped clear way for NBA players to be in Olympics.

• Also in are Rick Pitino (college coaching legend), Jerry Tarkanian (college coaching legend), Dawn Staley (WNBA legend, three time gold medalist), Sylvia Hatchell (North Caronia’s women’s college coach), Guy Lewis (University of Houston college coach including the Phi Slama Jama years), and George Raveling, the longtime college coach enters on a lifetime achievement award.

  1. sdelmonte - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    The Basketball Hall of Fame is the polar opposite of baseball’s. It seems like far too many people are let in, and often with rather odd qualifications – Russ Granik?

    And yet Spencer Haywood doesn’t get in.

    Can we put Pitino and Tark in a special Corrupt College Coaches wing?

    • dadawg77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Baseball’s is about major leagues only with MLB as the main major league. Basketball is about the game in its entirety. Also, MLB does have club and league execs in the there too.

    • savoirlaire - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Aside from banging an ugly (and crazy) woman after hours at an Italian restaurant, what has Pitino done that could be construed as corrupt? And that Karen Cypher trespass was certainly more stupidity than corruption…

    • ww2chas - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      And put king in that same wing (the corrupt players area).

  2. Mr. Wright 212 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    About time B. King gets in.

  3. fanofevilempire - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    it took a long time but B.King is finally in.

  4. tcclark - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Why Richie Guerin? He was good, but was he any better than Spencer Haywood, Bobby Jones, Maurice Cheeks, or even Kevin Johnson? No. Career averages of 15-5-5 are not Hall of Fame numbers.

  5. themagicfanguy - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:36 PM

    Really? Guerin? It should be Richmond, Cheeks, or Haywood.

  6. sportfandc - Apr 9, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    Why is Bernard King a “Knicks swingman”? Who did he score his most points for? That would be the Washington Bullets, which is where he overcame a really bad knee injury, eventually averaging 28 points in his last full year. I’m not saying he should be referred to as “Bullets swingman”, but 3 healthy seasons in NY didn’t make his career.

  7. chucketuna - Apr 9, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Bernard King was an awsome player. Well deserved, and Payton is great pure point guard. Both good picks

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