Sonics fans stand up! The great city of Seattle has been teamless since the start of the 2008-09 season after the Sonics failed to raise enough money to fund a new stadium. The business side of the NBA reared its ugly head at such an unfortunate time. Seattle had clawed its way from obscurity in the post-Ray Allen era with the drafting of Kevin Durant and Jeff Green in the 2007 Draft and Russell Westbrook via 2008’s draft. Many great players wore the Sonics sneakers in the iconic green & yellow jerseys over the franchises 41-year history. Seattle won their lone championship in 1979 by defeating the Washington Bullets with outstanding guard play from Dennis Johnson (MVP) and Gus Williams.
The next championship-caliber team Seattle produced were the Gary Payton lead squads of the ’90s. The Glove’s tenaciousness rubbed off on everyone and with the help from high flyer Shawn Kemp they challenged Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in ’96. Honestly, the Sonics would have won if they were playing any other team than MJ’s Bulls (arguably the best team ever). The Gary Payton years resulted in the franchise’s best season, amassing 62 wins in the 1996 season.
Seattle’s reoccurring theme of being lead by two stars continued with the Ray Allen show featuring Rashard Lewis. Overall, Ray found limited success with the Sonics ending with a singular playoff appearance in four seasons. When Rashard Lewis started blossoming the team started winning. The peak of their powers came during that sole playoff season in 2005 when the Sonics made it to the second round of the NBA Playoffs (lost to San Antonio 4-2) behind their two All-Stars (Allen & Lewis). Unfortunately, they were unable to sustain their powers and the team dismantled its core by cutting ties with both Ray and Rashard, by season’s end in 2007 things seemed pretty bleak. A bright light fell upon Seattle with their neighbor’s to the south (Portland) poor decision of passing on Texas stud Kevin Durant. With their second overall pick, the Seattle Supersonics selected future 2-time Finals MVP, Regular Season MVP (and Rookie of the Year) Durant. And that’s it, Seattle was no more in after KD’s rookie season, poof, gone.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane at some of the franchise’s best “Sonics sneakers” moments since KD’s preseason game this weekend in Seattle got us feeling all nostalgic. Enjoy!