Northwest basketball legend Gary Payton will be inducted to the Hall of Fame September 8th.
Payton set multiple records at Oregon State University, where he led the Beavers to the NCAA tournament three times. He played most of his NBA career with the Seattle Supersonics. His outstanding defense earned him the nickname, “The Glove.”
Payton made the playoffs and the All-Star game, repeatedly. He led the Sonics to the NBA Finals in 1996, but he didn’t win a title until ten years later, with the Miami Heat.
Since the Sonics departed for Oklahoma City a few years ago, Payton has advocated bringing pro basketball back to Seattle. NBA owners could vote in the next few weeks to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle.
Former OSU basketball coaches Slats Gill and Ralph Miller are in the Hall of Fame, but Payton is the first to be selected for his playing career.
This year’s list of inductees also includes college coach Rick Pitino. His Louisville Cardinals eliminated the Oregon Ducks from this year’s NCAA tournament.