Sonics point guard Gary Payton, "The Glove," heads the list of finalists named for selection to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The electees will be announced during the weekend of the NCAA Final Four.
"The Glove" is widely considered one of the best defensive players in NBA history and led the Sonics to The Finals in 1996, losing to Michael Jordan's Bulls. AFter being down 3-0 the Sonics, led by Payton, clsoed the gap to 3-2 before finally losing game 6, and the series.
The Glove is the only point guard tio ever win the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award, grabbing that honor in 1996, en route to their title title run that season. Payton was a nine-time all-star in his 17-year career. For his career, Payton averaged 16.3 ppg and 6.7 assists. He also led the league in trash talking, a record that may stand for a long time. At least he backed it up on the court.
one of the most popular players to ever wear a Sonics uniform, Payton was unceremoniously traded to Milwaukee when he clashed with owner Howard Schultz. The move was widely panned in Seattle. Schultz went on to sell the team to Clay Bennett who blew uop the team, alienated the Seattle fanbase, and ultimately moved it to Oklahoma City. Thanks, Schultz.
Look for Payton's jersey yo be retired in Seattle in the first season of the Sonics return.
Payton will be wearing the green and gold in the Hall of Fame.