The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame got bigger Monday, and the class of 2013 has a strong Bay Area flavor as former Warriors forward Bernard King and Oakland native and Skyline High School product Gary Payton joined Guy V. Lewis, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian as the North American Committee representatives. The entire class of 2013 also included Sylvia Hatchell and Dawn Staley from the Women's Committee, E.B. Henderson from the African American Pioneers Committee, Oscar Schmidt from the International Committee, Richard Guerin from the Veterans Committee and Russ Granik from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.
Official enshrinement ceremonies are scheduled for September 8, 2013, at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.
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King, a four-time NBA All-Star and two-time All-NBA First Team selection, spent two seasons with the Warriors (1980-82) and averaged 22.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 36.1 minutes while shooting 57.7 percent from the field in 160 games, earning NBA Comeback Player of the Year honors in his first season with the team in 1980-81. In 15 NBA seasons with the Warriors, New Jersey Nets, Utah Jazz, New York Knicks and Washington Bullets, King posted averages of 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 33.7 minutes in 874 games. A First Team All-American at the University of Tennessee, King ranks third in franchise annals in field goal percentage and sixth in scoring average.
“This is a richly deserved honor for Bernard, and we couldn’t be happier for him,” said Warriors Legend Alvin Attles, who coached King during his time with Golden State. “He was such a fierce competitor who always gave 100 percent effort, every single night. I vividly remember how he would fly down the court on the fast break and opposing players would get out of his way. It was truly a sight to behold.”
There have now been 22 former Warriors players/coaches/scouts in franchise history to earn Hall of Fame honors, with King joining such luminaries as Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Chris Mullin, Joe Fulks, Paul Arizin, Eddie Gottlieb and, most recently in 2012, Don Nelson, Jamaal Wilkes and Ralph Sampson.
Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this report