SEATTLE - Beloved Seattle sports figure Gary Payton has been named as the 2013 Seafair Torchlight Parade Grand Marshal.
“I’m very honored,” Payton told KIRO 7. “Seattle has always been a great city to me.”
Payton said it was a big deal for him when he was named the Grand Marshal.
"I’m going to have fun with it. I'm going to live it up and have a great time,” said Payton. "It's going to be a great experience for me."
Payton said he's most looking forward to the Seafair hydro races.
Asked what kind of a hydro driver he would be, Payton answered, "I'm crazy, I'm going to go to the fastest one. I got to be the daredevil. But I'm not a daredevil now because I want to live, so it's all good."
Payton, a nine-time NBA All-Star who spent most of his career playing for the Sonics, earned the moniker “The Glove” for his outstanding defense.
Payton was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1996 and is the Sonics’ all-time leader in points, games, minutes played, field goals, field goal attempts, 3-point attempts, assists and steals.
He is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame last month.
Payton ended his NBA career in 2006 with the Miami Heat, but returned to Seattle where he has been dedicated to bringing back the Sonics.
You can see Gary Payton and the Torchlight Parade live on July 27 on KIRO 7 and kirotv.com.