The Hall of Fame is going to fit Gary Payton like a glove.
Payton seemed likely to make the cut out of this year’s Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame finalists — and he should, he was one of the greatest point guards of his generation. This was a no-brainer. But with the Hall sometimes you still have to wonder.
The official announcement isn’t until Monday in Atlanta (at the Final Four) but Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com says he’s in.
Payton had talked to PBT about this back when he was nominated.
“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.”
He did, and he deserved it. Payton is a nine-time All-Star, an NBA champion (2006 Miami Heat), a career 16.3 points and 6.7 assists a game guy. But it was on the defensive end Payton made his name — a nine-time NBA All Defensive Team selection and one time Defensive Player of the Year.
Congrats to Payton, he deserved it.
Other finalists include Bernard King, Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway and Maurice Cheeks. Other reports have said Guy Lewis (University of Houston and Phi Slamma Jamma) also made the Hall of Fame.