Tuesday , Sep , 10 , 2013 Paul Eide

Gary Payton, Bernard King Elected To Hall Of Fame, No One Notices

Gary Payton and Bernard King were inducted Sunday into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame; too bad no one was aware.

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: How could the NBA let this happen?


Payton, the only NBA player with 20,000 points, 8,000 assists, 5,000 rebounds and 2,000 steals and King, who averaged 22.5 points in 15 NBA seasons with five teams, were inducted on the first Sunday of the NFL season.

Weren't there enough dead Sunday's over the previous three months to make this into a media spectacle? Unfortunately for both players, being overlooked is what their careers were all about.

Payton is the only point guard to ever win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. "The Glove" was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, an NBA record. He was also a nine-time NBA All-Star and a nine-time All-NBA Team member. Payton won an NBA title in 2006 and for his career, averaged 16.3 ppg, 6.7 apg and 1.8 spg and set a new standard for what an NBA point guard could be.

King was a four-time NBA All-Star who led the NBA in scoring in 1985 with 32.9 points per game, won the NBA Comeback Player of the Year award in 1981 and was selected twice to the All-NBA First Team. King was the prototypical NBA small forward and arguably the purest scorer in NBA history.

Not that you would have known that on Sunday, while you and the rest of the country were immersed in the throes of the opening weekend of America's most popular sport. Not that I blame you; I had no idea, either.

What is the marketing strategy for the NBA? Since the early part of the 2000's, we hear every year about how attendance and TV viewership consistently increase, but every year, it is consistently ranked below the NFL, college football, MLB and at some points, even NASCAR.

Bernard King and Gary Payton deserved more recognition. If not during their time on the court, then on the day of what should be regarded as the pinnacle of any athlete's career.

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