Haywood will not be part of the newest Hall class, which will be announced on Monday.
Spencer Haywood, who won a landmark Supreme Court case to enter the NBA and waged public-relations battles in retirement to preserve his legacy, was not part of the next class to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Al Ross, Haywood’s agent in the early 1970s, told Fox Sports Florida the 13-year veteran of the NBA and ABA had made the Hall 30 years after his last professional game. The Hall of Fame later confirmed that was not the case.
An official announcement will be made Monday at a news conference before the NCAA men’s championship game.
NBA sources told The Seattle Times on Thursday former Sonics star Gary Payton is a unanimous Hall of Fame choice.
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The inductees will be enshrined during a Sept. 8 ceremony in Springfield, Mass.
As a rookie with the Denver Nuggets during the 1969-70 season, Haywood averaged 30 points to lead led the ABA in scoring and won the MVP award.
At 21, he challenged the NBA’s rule against signing a player whose college class hadn’t graduated.
The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Haywood on March 1, 1971 in a decision that allowed underclassmen to enter the NBA and paved the way for generations of young basketball stars.
In five seasons with the Sonics, he appeared in four All-Star Games and averaged at least 20 points each season. During the 1972-73 season, he set the team record by averaging 29.2 points.
The Sonics traded Haywood to the New York on Oct. 23, 1975, and his career began to spiral out of control due in large part to a cocaine addiction.
He played 4 ½ seasons with the Knicks and finished the 1978-79 season with the New Orleans Jazz.
Haywood spent the next season with the Los Angeles Lakers and played two years with the Washington Bullets, where he finished his career in 1983.
Percy Allen: 206-464-2278 or firstname.lastname@example.org