2013 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to welcome Gary Payton, Rick Pitino and Bernard King


NBA: All Star Game-Hall of Fame Press ConferenceThe 2013 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class has been announced, with longtime Seattle SuperSonics great Gary Payton and Louisville head coach Rick Pitino headlining the group.

Payton enjoyed a successful 17-year NBA career, and he’s best known for his 13-year tenure in Seattle, where he established himself as one of the best defensive point guards of all-time.

“The Glove” was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine teams and is the only point guard ever to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Payton was also excellent offensively, averaging 16.3 points and 6.7 assists over the course of his career. He averaged over 20 points in seven of his 17 seasons, with his career-high average of 24.2 points coming in the 1999-2000 season.

The point guard reached three NBA Finals, appearing in one each for the Sonics, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat. Payton finally got that elusive first ring as a member of the 2005-06 Heat.

The Pitino announcement comes on the same day the legendary coach will be going for his second national championship when his Louisville Cardinals take on the Michigan Wolverines Monday night. His lone national title thus far came back in 1996 with the Kentucky Wildcats.

bernard-kingPitino has been to the Final Four seven times and is the only coach in NCAA history to officially reach the Final Four with three different schools. In addition to Louisville and Kentucky, he also took Providence to the Final Four in 1987.

John Calipari has also taken three different schools to the Final Four, but his trips with Massachusetts and Memphis were vacated due to NCAA infractions.

Pitino also spent some time in the NBA, coaching for both the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics. He left the Celtics in 2001 and has been at Louisville ever since. As a college head coach, he holds a record of 663-239.

Also being inducted to the hall are Jerry Tarkanian and Bernard King. Tarkanian is one of the most successful head coaches in NCAA history, compiling an overall record of 729-201. He took UNLV to four Final Fours and won a national championship in 1990.

King played 15 seasons in the NBA, averaging 22.5 points in his career for the Nets, Jazz, Warriors, Knicks and Bullets. He was a four-time All-Star and led the league in scoring in 1985 with 32.9 points per game.

The five Direct Elects for the Class of 2013 are Dr. E.B. Henderson (Early African American Pioneers), Roger Brown (The ABA Game), Oscar Schmidt (The International Game), Richard Guerin (Veterans) and Russ Granik (Contributor Direct Election Committee).

Others inducted include former Houston Cougars head coach Guy Lewis, North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell and former WNBA star Dawn Staley.

/SBNation/

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