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Report: Payton in '13 HOF class

The SportsXchange

Former NBA star Gary Payton will become a member of the 2013 Hall-of-Fame class, according to NBA.com's Scott Howard-Cooper.

Payton, considered one of the best defensive guards in NBA history, played on a Seattle Supersonics team that reached the NBA Finals in 1996. An official announcement is expected on Monday, according to NBA.com.

The 44-year-old was one of 12 finalists for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame who were announced during the league's All-Star weekend. The 2013 class will officially be selected at the Final Four in April.

Joining Payton on the ballot were Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Guy Lewis, Rick Pitino, Jerry Tarkanian, Tom Heinsohn, Sylvia Hatchell and Dawn Staley.

Payton averaged 16.3 points per games during a 17-year career that began in 1990. He played most of his career with Seattle, but also spent time with the Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
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