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Gary Payton Deserves the Sonics

Gary Payton will be elected into the NBA Hall of Fame this summer. Payton has been steadfast in his loyalty to Seattle, attending a Save Our Sonics rally in 2008, accepted a Webby Award on behalf of Sonicsgate and maintained from day one that when he enters the Hall of Fame he will do so as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics.

Payton, and his teammate Shawn Kemp both left the Sonics via trade and finished their respective careers in other cities. As a fan I cannot say how appreciative I am that both of them have realized the depth of their relationship with this region and its fans. They are firmly entrenched in our city culture and having spoken with both of them on this subject I can tell you that they love the fans as much as we love them.

Gary Payton deserves to enter the hall of fame in a celebration. I want to see his career culminate surrounded by the celebration of our franchise being restored and the celebration I hope entails.

A conflicting vision, in which Gary Payton is inducted on the heels of rejection by the NBA Board of Governors is disturbing. I shudder to think of an induction ceremony marred by reports of "what might have been" and an angry fanbase expressing their anger that David Stern and Clay Bennett spurned us yet again.

As Seattle fans we are used to being burned. We generally don’t expect to win because we have been down for so long.

How will the outcome of our relocation efforts affect Gary Payton’s HOF induction?

Talk about that here and while you are at it take a moment to send GP a #SonicsRising congrats and follow him @GaryPayton_20