Rick Pitino, Gary Payton To Join NBA Hall Of Fame

Regardless of the outcome tonight, Rick Pitino is a Hall of Fame Coach.

The head of the Louisville program will be fighting for an NCAA title tonight against Michigan. If he wins, Pitino will become the first coach in NCAA history to win championships with two different men’s teams. If he loses, he’ll be a Hall of Fame coach with over 600 college victories, 22 postseason appearances, seven Final Four appearances, and an NCAA Championship.

Pitino said that the Hall of Fame announcement today was a little bit of a distraction from his goal tonight. But it’s not like Pitino was bothered by the honor.

The coach said: “It’s a pretty special distraction. I’m just so proud to be here.”

Seattle Super Sonics guard Gary Patyon will also join the class of 2013. Payton played 17 NBA seasons, most of which were in Seattle, and was named to nine All Star teams and nine All-Defensive teams. Payton won an NBA championship with the Miami Heat and is considered one of the greatest defensive point guards to ever play in the NBA.

New York Knicks star Bernard King will also be joining the hall of fame. King averaged 22.5 points per game during his 15-year career and was named to the All-Star team four times.

CBS reports that North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell, Former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, former University of Virginia star Dawn Staley, and former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis will also join the class of 2013.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame previously announced that Edwin E.B. Henderson, Roger Brown, Oscar Schmidt, Richie Guerin, and Russ Granik would be inducted into the hall of fame this year.