Former Laker Gary Payton to be inducted into Hall of Fame on Sunday
Former Laker Gary Payton will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
The veteran point guard spent one year in Los Angeles, joining with Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Karl Malone for the 2003-04 season.
Payton averaged 14.6 points on 47.1% shooting with 5.5 assists through 82 appearances. He struggled during the playoffs, averaging only 7.8 points on 36.6% shooting in the Lakers’ run to the NBA Finals.
Ultimately the Detroit Pistons would win the championship series in five games and Payton was traded during the off-season to the Boston Celtics.
Payton made three trips to the NBA Finals, one with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1996 and more recently with the Miami Heat in 2006 -- finally winning a championship. He retired after the 2006-07 season.
The Sonics, who have since moved to Oklahoma City as the rebranded Thunder, selected Payton with the second overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft.
The nine-time All-Star and 1996 defensive player of the year finished his career with 21,813 points and 8,966 assists.
The Lakers historically retire the jerseys of players inducted into the Hall of Fame, but Payton’s tenure with the team was too brief for such an honor. While he won his ring with the Heat, Payton will be best remembered for his time with the SuperSonics.
Payton will join Bernard King, Oscar Schmidt, Rick Pitino, Jerry Tarkanian, Dawn Staley, Guy V. Lewis, Dr. E.B. Henderson, Roger Brown, Richard Guerin, Sylvia Hatchell and Russ Granik as inductees Sunday.
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