|History|| Seattle SuperSonics |
|Team Colors||Green and Gold|
|Head Coach||Bob Hill|
|Conference Titles||3 (1978, 1979, 1996)|
|Division Titles||6 (1979, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2005)|
- KeyArena (formerly Seattle Center Coliseum) 1967–1978, 1985–1994, 1995-Present
- Kingdome 1978–1985
- Tacoma Dome 1994–1995 (During KeyArena Remodel)
Franchise history 編輯
The Supersonics were Seattle's first professional sports franchise. Beginning play in October of 1967, the Supersonics were coached by Al Bianchi and featured All-Star guard Walt Hazzard and All-Rookie Team members Bob Rule and Al Tucker. The expansion team stumbled to a 23-59 record, and Hazzard was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before the start of the next season for future Hall-of-Famer Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens brought a strong all-around game to the Supersonics, averaging 22.4 points per game, 8.2 assists per game, and 6.2 rebounds per game for the Seattle in the 1968-69 season. Rule, meanwhile, improved on his rookie statistics with 24.0 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game. The Supersonics, however, only won 30 games and Bianchi was replaced by Wilkens as coach during the off-season.
Wilkens and Rule both represented Seattle in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game, and Wilkens led the NBA in assists during the 1969-70 season. Early in the 1970-71 season, however, Rule tore his achilles tendon and was lost for the rest of the year. Wilkens was named the 1971 All-Star Game MVP, but the big news of the season came when owner Sam Schulman managed to land ABA Rookie of the Year and MVP Spencer Haywood following a lengthy court battle. The following season, the Supersonics went on to record their first winning season at 47-35. The team, led by player-coach Wilkens and All-NBA forward Haywood, held a 46-27 mark on March 3, but late season injuries to starters Haywood, Dick Snyder, and Don Smith contributed to the team losing eight of its final nine games — otherwise, the 1972 team might very well have become the franchise's first playoff team. The following season, Wilkens was dealt to Cleveland in a highly unpopular trade, and without his leadership the Supersonics fell to a 26-56 record. One of the few bright spots of the season was Haywood's second consecutive All-NBA First Team selection, as he averaged a Supersonics record 29.2 point per game and collected 12.9 rebounds per game.
The legendary Bill Russell was hired as a coach in the following year, and in 1975 he coached the Supersonics to the playoffs for the first time. The team, which starred Haywood, guards Fred Brown and Slick Watts, and rookie center Tommy Burleson, defeated the Detroit Pistons in a three game mini-series before falling to the eventual champion Golden State Warriors in six games. The next season, the Supersonics traded Haywood to New York forcing the remaining players to pick up the offensive slack. Guard Fred Brown, now in his fifth season, was selected to the 1976 NBA All-Star Game and finished fifth in the league in scoring average and free throw percentage. Burleson's game continued to strengthen, while Watts led the NBA in both assists and steals and was named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team. The Supersonics again made the playoffs, but lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games in spite of strong performances from both Brown (28.5 ppg) and Burleson (20.8 ppg) during the series.
Russell left the Sonics after the 1976-77 season, and under new coach Bob Hopkins the team started the season dismally at 5-17. Lenny Wilkens was brought back to replace Hopkins, and the team's fortunes immediately turned around. The Supersonics won 11 of their first 12 games under Wilkens, finished the season at 47-35, won the Western Conference title, and actually led the Washington Bullets three games to two before losing in seven games in the 1978 NBA Finals. Other than the loss of center Marvin Webster to New York, the Supersonics roster stayed largely intact during the off-season, and in the 1978-79 season they went on to win their first division title. In the playoffs, the Supersonics defeated the Phoenix Suns in a tough seven game conference final series to set up a rematch with the Washington Bullets in the finals. This time, the Bullets lost to the Sonics in five games to give Seattle its one and (so far) only title. The championship team roster included the powerful backcourt tandem of Gus Williams and Finals MVP Dennis Johnson, second year All-Star center Jack Sikma, forwards John Johnson and Lonnie Shelton, and key reserves Fred Brown and Paul Silas.
The 1979-80 season saw the Supersonics finish second in the Pacific Division to the Los Angeles Lakers with a strong 56-26 record. Fred Brown won the NBA's first three-point shooting percentage title, Jack Sikma played in the second of his seven career All-Star Games for Seattle, Gus Williams and Dennis Johnson were both named to the All-NBA Second Team, and Johnson also was named to the All-NBA First Defensive Team for the second consecutive year. The Supersonics made it to the Western Conference Finals for the third straight season, but lost to the Lakers in seven games. It was the last time that the backcourt of Williams and Johnson would play together in Supersonics uniforms, as Johnson was traded to the Phoenix Suns before the start of the 1980-81 season and Williams sat out the year due to a contract dispute. As a result, the Supersonics fell to last place in the Pacific Division with a 34-48 mark. Williams returned for the 1981-82 season, and Seattle managed respectable 52-30 and 48-34 records during the next two years.
In October of 1983, original team owner Sam Schulman sold the Supersonics to Barry Ackerley, initiating a period of decline and mediocrity for the Supersonics. 1984 saw Fred Brown retire after playing 13 productive seasons, all with Seattle. His career reflected much of the Supersonics history to that time, having been on the same team roster as Rule and Wilkens during his rookie season, playing a key role on Seattle's first playoff teams, and being the team's important sixth man during the championship series years. In recognition of his many contributions to the team, Brown's number was retired in 1986. Lenny Wilkens left the organization following the 1984-85 season, and when Jack Sikma was traded after the 1985-86 season, the last remaining tie to the Supersonics' championship team (aside from trainer Frank Furtado) had been severed.
Among the few Supersonics highlights of second half of the 1980's were Tom Chambers' All-Star Game MVP award in 1987, Seattle's surprise appearance in the 1987 Western Conference Finals, and the performance of the late 80's power trio of Chambers, Xavier McDaniel, and Dale Ellis. In 1987-88, the three players each averaged over 20 points per game with Ellis at 25.8 ppg, McDaniel at 21.4, and Chambers at 20.4. In the 1988-89 season, with Chambers traded to Phoenix, Ellis improved to his scoring average to 27.5 points per game and finished second in the league in three-point percentage. The Supersonics finished with a 47-35 record, and made it to the second round of the 1989 playoffs.
The Supersonics began setting a new foundation with the drafting of forward Shawn Kemp in 1989 and guard Gary Payton in 1990, and the trading of Dale Ellis and Xavier McDaniel to other teams during the 1990-91 season. It was George Karl's arrival as head coach in 1992, however, that marked a return to regular season and playoff competitiveness for the Supersonics. With the continued improvement of Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, the Supersonics posted a 55-27 record in the 1992-93 season and took the Phoenix Suns to seven games in the Western Conference Finals. The next year, the Supersonics had the best record in the NBA in 1994 at 63-19 record, but suffered a humiliating first round loss to the Denver Nuggets. After playing the 1994-1995 season in the Tacoma Dome the team moved to the renamed Key Arena for the 1995-1996 season. Perhaps the strongest roster the team ever had was the 1995-96 team, which had a franchise best 64-18 record. With a deep roster comprised of All-NBA Second Team selections Kemp and Payton, forward Detlef Schrempf, center Sam Perkins, and guard Nate McMillan, the team reached the NBA Finals, but lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. Seattle continued to be a Western Conference powerhouse during the next two seasons, winning 57 games in 1996-97 and 61 games in 1997-98 for their second and third straight Pacific Division titles. At the end of the 1997-98 season long-time Sonic and defensive specialist Nate McMillan retired.
Disagreements with management led to Karl leaving Seattle after the 1997-98 season, and the Supersonics again descended into an extended period of medocrity. The 2002-2003 season saw All-Star Gary Payton traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, and it also marked the end to the Sonics 11-year streak of having a season with a winning percentage of at least .500, the second longest current streak in the NBA at the time. The 2004-05 team surprised many when it won the organization's sixth division title under guard Ray Allen's leadership, but the team regressed the following season with a 35-47 record.
With their Key Arena lease expiring in 2010 the SuperSonics are exploring options for renovations to Key Arena or constructing a new arena across Lake Washington in Bellevue. Both the City of Seattle and the State of Washington are weighing interest in public financing options including packages simular to those used to fund the Seahawks and Mariners facilities. If a funding package can not be negotiated, relocation or sale of the team is possible. The NBA has interest in locating teams in cities such as Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, San Jose, Ottawa, and Montreal.
Players of note 編輯
Current roster 編輯
|Al Bianchi||1967/68 – 1968/69|
|Lenny Wilkens||1969/70 – 1971/72|
|Bill Russell||1973/74 – 1976/77|
|Lenny Wilkens||1977/78 – 1984/85|
|Bernie Bickerstaff||1985/86 – 1988/89|
|K.C. Jones||1990/91 – 1991/92|
|George Karl||1991/92 – 1997/98|
|Paul Westphal||1998/99 – 2000/01|
|Nate McMillan||2000/01 – 2004/05|
|Bob Hill||2005/06 – present|
- Lenny Wilkens (player and head coach for the Sonics; inducted as both, coached the 1979 Championship Team)
- 1 Gus Williams, G, 1977–1984
- 10 Nate McMillan, G, 1986–1998; Head Coach, 2000–2005
- 19 Lenny Wilkens, G, 1968–1972; Head Coach, 1969–1972 & 1977–1985
- 32 Fred Brown, G, 1971–1984
- 43 Jack Sikma, C, 1977–1986
Not to be forgotten編輯
- Vin Baker
- Brent Barry
- Michael Cage
- Tom Chambers
- Dale Ellis
- Hersey Hawkins
- Spencer Haywood
- Shawn Kemp
- Desmond Mason
- Xavier McDaniel
- Dennis Johnson
- John 'JJ' Johnson
- Derrick McKey
- Gary Payton
- Sam Perkins
- Ricky Pierce
- Bob Rule
- Detlef Schrempf
- Lonnie Shelton
- Paul Silas
- Dick Snyder
- Sedale Threatt
- Slick Watts
2005 NBA Draft編輯
Seattle SuperSonics - 2005 NBA DraftTracker
- 1 round 25(25 overall) Johan Petro C France
- 2 round 18(48 overall) Mickaël Gelabale SF France
- 2 round 25(55 overall) Lawrence Roberts PF Mississippi St.
- Bob Blackburn, Broadcaster, "The Voice of the Seattle Supersonics" 1967–1992
- Seattle SuperSonics official web site
- Pro Sports Daily
- Sonics Central
- Seattle Sonics News and Blog
- Sonics Bulletin Board
- Supersonicsoul - The Sonics Blog
- Seattle Sonics
- Sports E-Cyclopedia
- French Blog about the Sonics