The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced the 12 finalists for the class of 2013 on Friday.
The group, which includes a dozen of some of the finest NBA and NCAA talent, is lead by Gary Payton, considered one of the best defensive guards in NBA history.
A nine-time NBA All-Star, Payton spent 13 of his 16 year career with the Seattle SuperSonics and holds the distinction of being the only player from any franchise with the title of their all-time leader in points, games played, minutes, assists and steals.
To this day, he remains the only point guard to ever win the Defensive Player of the Year Award.
“[It] would mean a lot,” said Payton, when asked the significance of making the Hall. “A guy coming from Oakland, California, I never dreamed of this. The things I did in the NBA, I never dreamed of that.”
Also up for election is Tim Hardaway, a hard-nosed pointguard known for his killer crossover.
Hardaway was a five-time All-Star and averaged 17.7 points and 8.2 assists per game for his career. He ranks 13th in both career assists (7,095) and 3-point field goals (1,542).
Other notable names include Maurice Cheeks and Bernard King.
A four-time NBA All-Star, Cheeks was crucial part of the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers NBA title team. Known for his defensive prowess, Maurice racked up 2,310 steals during his career, which is the fifth most in NBA history.
Bernard King played 14 NBA seasons with a handful of teams, averaging 22.5 points per game (currently 25th highest in NBA history) for his career.
King finished with 19,655 points and, as Rants Sports notes, “surely would have reached 20,000 career points” if not for missing almost four entire seasons, due substance abuse issues and two knee injuries.
The Class of 2013 will be announced at the NCAA Final Four in April and will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts in September.
The complete list of 2013 Basketball Hall Of Fame Finalists can be viewed below:
Players: Maurice Cheeks, Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Bernard King, Gary Payton, Mitch Richmond and Dawn Staley.
Coaches: Tom Heinsohn, Guy Lewis, Rick Pitino, Jerry Tarkanian, Sylvia Hatchell.