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Payton, Hardaway Are Among 12 Basketball Hall of Fame Finalists

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Feb. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Former All-Star guards Gary Payton and Tim Hardaway are among 12 finalists for entry into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Tom Heinsohn, 78, already a member of the Hall as a player, is a finalist for entry as a coach. He led the Boston Celtics to National Basketball Association championships in 1974 and 1976.

Richie Guerin, a standout guard for teams including the New York Knicks in the 1950s and ’60s, was elected to the Springfield, Massachusetts-based shrine from a veterans category.

Payton, 44, a nine-time NBA All-Star, and Hardaway, 46, an All-Star five times, are among six first-time finalists, the Hall said yesterday in a release. The others are Heinsohn (as a coach); Sylvia Hatchell, a three-time national college women’s coach of the year; Dawn Staley, a five-time Women’s NBA All-Star, and Mitch Richmond, a six-time All-Star in the NBA.

Repeat finalists are former players Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood and Bernard King, and coaches Guy Lewis, Rick Pitino and Jerry Tarkanian.

Five men already have been chosen for 2013 entry through special panels: Roger Brown, who was voted in by the American Basketball Association Committee; Edwin B. Henderson, from the Early African-American Pioneers Committee; Oscar Schmidt, from the International Committee; Guerin, from the Veterans Committee, and Russ Granik, a former NBA deputy commissioner, from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.

The complete class of 2013 will be introduced April 8 at the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in Atlanta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Curtis Eichelberger in Wilmington, Delaware at ceichelberge@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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