Sonics great Spencer Haywood will not be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame after all, Haywood told the Las Vegas Review Journal on Saturday.
Haywood and former Sonic Gary Payton were told earlier in the week that they had made this year's Hall of Fame class. The official announcement will come Monday.
Haywood told the paper that he is embarrassed, and has been so upset he hasn't been able to eat or sleep.
Haywood played in Seattle from 1970-75. While a Sonic, he averaged 24.9 points per game and 12.1 rebounds per game. Over his career, Haywood averaged 20.3 PPG and 10.3 RPG. But his biggest impact may have come off the court.
In 1970, Haywood and then Sonics owner Sam Schulman sued the NBA to allow Haywood into the league. At the time, you had to be four years out of high school. Haywood was only three. In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled in Haywood's favor. Current NBA commissioner David Stern was serving as the league's lawyer. The ruling paved the way for high school and college players to declare early for the NBA draft. Just to show you his impact, 22 of the 25 NBA All-Stars entered the league early.
Haywood won an NBA Championship in 1980 with the Lakers, a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and had his jersey retired by the Sonics in 2007.
KING 5's Susan Wyatt contributed to this report