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Former Sonics Gary Payton, Spencer Haywood among finalists for Hall of Fame

Former Seattle SuperSonics Gary Payton and Spencer Haywood are among the 12 finalists for the basketball hall of fame.

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame made the announcement Friday from NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston.

Payton, a first-time finalist, played 13 of his 17 NBA seasons in Seattle, where he earned a reputation as one of the league’s best defenders and most prolific trash talkers. He ranks fourth all-time in steals and eighth in assists. His career resume also includes nine All-Star selections and nine All-Defensive First Team selections as well as two Olympic gold medals. He retired in 2007 after winning a championship with the Miami Heat.

Haywood made four All-Star appearances during his five seasons with the Sonics (1970-1975). He won a championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980.

The class of 2013 will be announced in April and enshrined in September.