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Today the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA released the list of candidates for induction in 2013.

The biggest name on the list of first-time nominees is Gary Payton.

Though Payton is mostly known for his 13-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, he was a member of the Boston Celtics for a short time and had a major hand in the creation of the team we see today.

Payton was a nine-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year in 1996. He won a championship late in his career with the Miami Heat in 2006. In between all that, Payton played 77 games with the Celtics.

Over the summer of 2004, Payton was moved to Boston by the Lakers along with Rick Fox and a 2006 first-round draft pick for Chucky Atkins, Chris Mihm and Jumaine Jones.

Despite not being a big fan of the move to Boston, Payton became the starting point guard. Then after being traded late in the season and immediately waived by the Atlanta Hawks, Payton proved a changed man and returned to the Celtics.

He averaged 11.3 points and 6.1 assists per game in helping Boston to an Atlantic Division title. Unfortunately, they lost to Indiana in the first round of the playoffs.

That 2006 first-rounder was packaged with Payton and sent to Atlanta that season, but it was always fated to be with the Celtics. It was sent by the Hawks to Phoenix as part of the Joe Johnson trade. Then, on draft night the Suns selected Rajon Rondo with the pick, before forwarding him on back to Boston.

Rajon Rondo, in a roundabout way, was brought to Boston by virtue of a Gary Payton trade, a few years before.

Fellow candidates with Boston ties on the list of nominees for the HOF Class of 2013 include:

Paul Silas: Traded to Boston in 1972. Averaged 11.5 points and 12.4 rebounds over four seasons.

Paul Westphal: Drafted No. 10 overall by Boston in 1972. Played three seasons with the Celtics, averaging 10 points per game in 1974-75.

Bill Fitch: Coached the Celtics for four seasons, including the 1980-81 NBA championship team.

Rick Pitino: Coached the Celtics for three-plus seasons. Never registered a winning record.

Johnny Most: Boston Celtics play-by-play announcer for the radio from 1953-1990. Passed away on January 2, 1993.

Lefty Driesell: Head coach of Maryland while Len Bias was attending. Resigned after Bias' death following his selection by the Celtics in the NBA draft.

Gary Williams: Former Boston College head coach

Rebecca Lobo: Retired as a member of the Connecticut Sun, helped them to a 2003 WNBA finals appearance.

The full list of possibles can be found here: http://www.hoophall.com/news/2013/1/7/the-official-class-of-2013-ballot-nominees-from-the-naismith.html

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You can follow Mike Walsh on Twitter @3rdStringWalsh

Walsh 1/07/2013 05:07:00 PM Edit
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