Gary Payton leads a class of 12 finalists to be inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013 in the North American committee. He is joined by Dawn Staley, Sylvia Hatchell, Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Tom Heinsohn (as a coach), Mitch Richmond, Rick Pitino, Guy V. Lewis, Spencer Haywood, Jerry Tarkanian and Tim Hardaway.
The Hall of Fame also announced the class of inductees for the categories of international players, African-American pioneers, ABA, veterans and contributors. They included Edwin "E.B." Henderson, Roger Brown, Richie Guerin, Oscar Schmidt and Russ Granik.
Here is how the list of finalists and other inductees compare:
Point guard Gary Payton, a nine-time All-Star and nine-time First-Team All-Defensive player, is a finalist after 17 NBA seasons. Most of his prime was spent with the Seattle SuperSonics after the team selected "The Glove" second overall in the 1990 NBA Draft. Payton left Seattle during his 13th NBA season and played for several teams. He went to the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2004 and won a title with the Miami Heat in 2006.
A model of consistency, the 6'5 shooting guard averaged between 21.0-25.0 points per game through his first 10 seasons with both the Golden State Warriors -- the team that drafted him fifth overall in 1988 -- and Sacramento Kings. The six-time All-Star retired with the Los Angeles Lakers after 2002 following his first NBA championship.
From 1989 to 2003, the hard-nosed point guard put up career averages of 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game. Selected by the Golden State Warriors with the 14th pick in the first round of the 1989 draft, Hardaway spent the majority of his later NBA seasons with the Miami Heat. Hardaway's best season came with the Heat in 1996-97, when the five-time All-Star made his only All-NBA First Team.
A crucial part of the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers NBA title team, Cheeks was known as one of the league's best defenders. He made four NBA All-Defensive Teams and was a four-time All-Star. He racked up 2,310 steals during his career, which is the fifth most in NBA history.
A prolific scorer throughout his NBA career, King finished his playing days with 19,655 points. He was the scoring champ in 1985, when he averaged 32.5 points per game for the New York Knicks. King spent four years with the Knicks, four with the Washington Bullets and three with the New Jersey Nets.
The ABA's Most Valuable Player in 1970, Haywood also had an illustrious NBA career. He won an NBA title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980 and had a career scoring average of 20.3 points per game. He played for the Seattle SuperSonics from 1970-1975 and his No. 24 is retired by the team.
The NBA's deputy commissioner for 22 years, Granik retired in 2006 after playing a key part in four collective bargaining negotiations and being a proponent of the change to FIBA's rules that allowed professional players to compete in the Olympics. This, of course, led to USA Basketball's Dream Team in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.