(CBS Seattle) – Sonics great and nine-time All-Star Gary Payton is one of the Hall of Fame nominees for the NBA’s 2013 class.

According to NBA.com, Payton, 44, is one of 31 candidates who’ve made “the first step.” Next comes a nine-member panel who will vote to see who makes it to the finalist stage — an outcome that will be announced at All-Star weekend in Houston.

Seven votes are needed for Payton to advance to the finalist stage. A group of 24 voters makes the ultimate ruling which sends those who pass into the Hall of Fame.

Payton, was selected by the Sonics in the first round (second pick overall) out of Oregon State University in the 1990 draft.

The Northern California-native, who spent the bulk of his career in Seattle, averaged 24.2 points and 8.9 assists per game during the 1999-2000 season.

During the 1995-1996 season (when the Sonics made it to the NBA Finals), Payton was arguably the most electric player in the playoffs. He sank 41 baskets from beyond the arch (the most during the postseason that year) and averaged 20.7 points and 6.8 assists.

The entire list of nominees from the North American committee (which includes pro, college and high school ranks): John Bach, Dick Bavetta, Gene Bess, Maurice Cheeks, Jack Curran, Bobby Dandridge, Lefty Driesell, Bill Fitch, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Travis Grant, Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Robert Hughes, Kevin Johnson, Marques Johnson (first time on the ballot), Gene Keady, Bernard King, Guy Lewis (first time), Danny Miles, William (Speedy) Morris (first time), Dick Motta, Curly Neal, Payton, Rick Pitino, Mitch Richmond, Paul Silas, Eddie Sutton, Jerry Tarkanian, Rudy Tomjanovich, Paul Westphaland Gary Williams.

-Chris Coyle, 1090 The Fan

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. NBA.com and basketsball-reference.com contributed to this report).


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