Are You Old Enough To Remember The Seattle SuperSonics? Educating Kids And Poor Souls In 2019

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The Seattle Supersonics were an NBA professional basketball team that used to play in Seattle.

It’s sad but many kids in this generation have no idea who the Sonics are and what they meant to The Emerald City.

The Sonics were the city of Seattle’s first champions among the four major sports in the U.S.A. The Sups won an NBA title in 1978-79, defeating the Washington Bullets in a five-game series.

Even though the Seattle Seahawks and the 12s are by far the most popular team in modern-day Seattle, it wasn’t always this way.

For a long period of time, the Seahawks were trash. They were the trash with cat litter and mushy old brussels sprouts that stinks up the entire house. Instead of stinking up a house, they managed to stink up an entire city.

The Seattle Mariners were also around in the olden days, and guess what: They also sucked. Before the mid-90s and Ken Griffey Jr, the Mariners found a way to consistently lose 100 games every season.

The Sonics truly were Seattle’s first reputable major sports franchise.

Even though many people don’t remember the Sups first championship team, they do remember the explosive Sonics teams in the mid-90s.

Before there was Blake Griffin, there was Shawn Kemp. Before there was John Wall, there was Gary Payton.

The Kemp, Payton-led Sonics were a fun group to watch.

Payton, also known as “The Glove,” played vicious defense and is often considered the best defensive point guard of his generation. Furthermore, when he wasn’t harassing you with his physicality and quickness, he was harassing you with his mouth. The Glove constantly trash-talked his opponents and often got into their heads.

There is even a story that when he was a college player at Oregon State University, he trash-talked the air. He was literally in a gym shooting around by himself and talking trash; now that’s character.

He was most known for his defense but he was also quite a handful on the offensive end of the court. He had a 15-foot step-back baseline jumper that he would make on a consistent basis. He could also drive to the rack with intensity, and as he became a veteran player his three-point shot improved.

In his rookie year he shot eight percent from beyond the arc; five years later, that number improved to 33 percent.

The other star player on this roster was Kemp; the man could jump. He would dunk just about everything thrown in his direction.

He never developed a complete game or really any other skill-set other than dunking the ball but man he was fun to watch anyways. In his best season with the Sonics, he averaged 19.6 points per game.

The last notable player on this team was Detlef Schrempf. Schrempf was a tall German three-point shooter. He was basically the original Dirk Nowitzki. Now, he was nowhere near as talented as Dirk, but he was an extremely solid player in his own right. In his first year with the Suups he averaged 19.1 points per game.

The 1995-96 version of the Sonics reached the NBA Finals. They did not win the title but they had an impressive season nonetheless. They lost the NBA championship that year to a Chicago Bulls team led by some mediocre player named Michael Jordan.

The Head Coach of the Sonics in the mid-90s was George Karl. Karl had a reputation for being an incredible coach during the season but tightening up and losing his composure in the playoffs.

The next notable era of Seattle basketball took place in the mid-2000s. These teams were led by sharp shooter and two-time NBA champion Ray Allen. Many NBA fans remember Allen as a knockdown shooter for the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, but he was in the prime of his career as a Suup (which is saying something considering how productive he was during the first seven years with the Milwaukee Bucks).

He constantly carried the offensive load during his tenure in Seattle. He ran off screen after screen and fired up countless longballs. He averaged 26.4 points per game in his best year with the Sonics. He was also able to drive to the hoop in his younger years and shot an extremely high clip from the free-throw line.

He was undoubtedly the team leader of this era in Sonics basketball. He became a part of the team when the Sonics traded Gary Payton and others players in the 2002-03 season.

The second-best player on these teams was Rashard Lewis. Just like his counterpart, Allen, Lewis was also an elite three-point shooter. He was not quite as good a shooter as Allen, but he did have one factor working in his advantage—his height. He stood at 6’10”. With his height and deep ball in his repertoire, opposing teams had to plan against him or else they would get snake-bit.

Rashard Lewis scored 22.4 points per game in the 2006-07 season.

Allen and Lewis were arguably the original splash brothers. In a day and age were the NBA was still more post and defensive oriented, Allen and Lewis were an anomaly.

The pair of players were extremely fun to watch and on most nights one of them put on a show and got hot from the field. Due to the fact that these teams lacked other play-makers the squad never made it past the second-round of the playoffs.

The team also struggled on the defensive end of the court due to its high volume of three-point attempts; this often led to easy transition buckets for the opposing team.

These Sonics teams were led by Head Coach Nate McMillan. McMillan was also a backup point guard on the previously mentioned 95-96 NBA finals teams.

It has been 10 years now since the Sonics left The Emerald City and there still is no time table in place for their return. I can’t speak for the entire city of Seattle, but I personally miss this team as much as Bono misses Cher. Does that even make sense? Who knows?

The Seattle winters feel longer without the Sups and the void will not be filled until they return back to their rightful home.

Instead of focusing on when they will come back and the fact that we could have had Kevin Durant, Lewis, and Allen all on the same roster, let’s focus on the great memories that the Sonics did give us and the cherished teams that will forever be a part of NBA history.

From Payton to Squash (that weird mascot thing that nobody actually understood), to Allen’s deep three pointers to Kemp’s thunderous dunks, to a young Durant to a throwback like Downtown Freddie Brown.

Thanks SuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuperSonics for all the great memories and to the memories that will be created in the future, whenever that may be.

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About Author

Nicholas Bartlett

My name is Nicholas Bartlett I am from Shoreline, Washington (North Seattle). I am 28 years old and a graduate of the Edward R Murrow School of Communications at Washington State University. I am a coach for a 6th grade boys basketball team and a coach for a 5th grade girls basketball team. I also am a assistant coach for a unified basketball team which is associated with the Special Olympics. You can contact me at Nb206wsu@gmail.com.

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