Pitino, Payton inducted into Basketball Hall of Fame
Springfield, MA (Sports Network) - Rick Pitino and Gary Payton highlighted the 2013 class inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon.
Pitino, who led Louisville to a national title in April, and Payton, a nine- time NBA All-Star, were joined in the Class of 2013 by Jerry Tarkanian, Dawn Staley, Guy Lewis, Bernard King, Sylvia Hatchell, Roger Brown, Dr. E.B. Henderson, Oscar Schmidt, Russ Granik and Richard Guerin.
Pitino 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 led 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.
Pitino has reached the Final Four seven times (1987, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2012 and 2013) and has won more than 600 games in his collegiate career. He also held two stints as an NBA head coach with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, leading the Knicks to a pair of playoff appearances.
"Coaches don't just get into the Hall of Fame. Players put them into the Hall of Fame," Pitino said.
Payton, in addition to his nine All-Star Game selections, was a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection and 1996 Defensive Player of the Year during a 17-year career with 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 eight in assists with 8,966. A two-time Olympic gold medal winner (1996 and 2000), Payton won an NBA championship with the Heat in 2006.
Prior to his NBA career, Payton was Sports Illustrated's National Player of the Year in 1990 while at Oregon State. He still holds the school records for points, assists and steals.
"As players we dream of this moment but don't expect to be here. But I really liked my chances of getting here," Payton said.
Tarkanian led UNLV, 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. A four-time national coach of the year, he also owns the highest winning percentage at the junior college level at .891.
Lewis led his alma mater, the University of Houston, to five Final Four appearances (1967, 1968, 1982, 1983 and 1984) and nearly 600 wins during his 30 years as head coach. He won national Coach of the Year honors in 1968 and 1983, and coached 29 future NBA players, including current Hall of Famers Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon.
King was a four-time NBA All-Star and a two-time NBA First-Team selection during a 15-year career that included stints with the New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Washington Bullets. He averaged more than 22 points per game and was the NBA Comeback Player of the Year in 1981.
"I treasured playing for the Knicks and the fans of New York," King said.
Staley is among the most decorated players in women's basketball history -- a three-time Olympic gold medal winner (1996, 2000 and 2004), five-time WNBA All-Star and two-time national college Player of the Year (1991-92). She led Virginia to three Final Fours and still holds the NCAA career record for steals with 454.
"Every experience in my life has been purposeful and every person a teacher. I will take this as my final victory as a player," Staley said.
Hatchell became the second women's college coach to reach 900 career wins earlier this year and is the only coach in history to win national championships at three different levels (AIAW, NAIA and NCAA). Since taking over at the University of North Carolina in 1986, she has led the Tar Heels to three NCAA Final Fours, eight ACC championships and the 1994 national title.
09/08 17:36:52 ET