Gary Payton leads list of NBA connections that may end in basketball Hall of Fame


nba-hall-of-fameFormer Seattle Supersonic guard Gary Payton headlines the list of candidates to enter the basketball Hall of Fame with the 2013 class, according to NBA.com.

Payton, a 9-time NBA All-Star was a fearless scorer and as intense on defense as one could be. Defense was Payton’s signature trait, but he excelled as a complete all-around guard.

The 193-cm star averaged 16.3 points, 6.7 assists and 1.8 steals in 1,335 regular-season contests. His best season was with the Seattle Supersonics in 99-00, when Payton averaged 24.2 ppg and 8.9 apg in all 82 games.

Also on the North American list of candidates are longtime Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, former NBA deputy commissioner Russ Granik and referee Dick Bavetta.

The Glove’s nine All-Defense teams made and nine All-Star appearances make him one of the favorites. He is joined by notable NBA players Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway and Kevin Johnson.

The international committee picked former NBA players Vlade Divac and Sarunas Marciulionis as well.

The NBA’s third-best career assists leader, Mark Jackson, was left off the list because he did not receive a vote in three prior years.

Coaches on the list of nominees include Paul Silas, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Rudy Tomjanovich and Paul Westphal.

Former ABA members nominated include Ron Boone, Roger Brown, Zelmo Beatty, Mack Calvin, Bob (Slick) Leonard, Louie Dampier and George McGinnis.

The North American committee chose Payton and others to move onto the next stage in the induction process, where a panel of nine members will vote upon finalists – seven votes are needed for a candidate to become a finalist.

The finalists will be announced during All-Star weekend in Houston, and a separate committee of 24 members will decide upon the induction class of 2013.

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