SPRINGFIELD – Nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton and college coaching great Rick Pitino were among the class of 2013 inducted Sunday into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Payton, who was also a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection and the 1996 Defensive Player of the Year, spent 17 years in the NBA, playing for Seattle, Milwaukee, the Lakers, Boston and Miami.
He averaged 16.3 points and ended his career ranked fourth all-time in steals with 2,445 and eighth in assists with 8,966.
An Olympic gold medal winner as part of the original Dream Team in 1996 and in 2000, Payton won an NBA title with Miami in 2006.
“As players, we dream of this moment but don’t expect to be here,” he said.
Pitino, who led Louisville to the national collegiate title in April, is the only coach in men’s college basketball history to lead three different schools to the NCAA Final Four, doing so with Providence, Kentucky and Louisville.
He guided Kentucky to the 1996 national championship and became the first coach to win a national title at two different schools when Louisville beat Michigan earlier this year for the crown.
“Coaches don’t just get into the Hall of Fame. Players put them into the Hall of Fame,” Pitino said.
Another college coaching great, Jerry Tarkanian, was among the inductees. Tarkanian led the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Fresno State and Long Beach State to the NCAA Tournament during a lengthy career that included four Final Fours and a 1990 national championship with UNLV.
Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt and US women’s star Dawn Staley – a three-time Olympic gold medallist – were also among the inductees.