The Seattle SuperSonics
The Seattle SuperSonics (commonly known as the Sonics) were a professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington, that played in the Pacific and Northwest Divisions of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The SuperSonics won the NBA championship in 1979. Overall, the franchise won three Western Conference titles: 1978, 1979, and 1996. The franchise also won six divisional titles, the most recent being in 2005, with five in the Pacific Division and one in the Northwest Division.
Gary Payton was nicknamed “The Glove” for his excellent defensive ability. He was the best point guard in SuperSonics’ history holding the franchise records in points, assists, and steals. He was the last point guard named Defensive Player of the Year (1996). Gary Payton helped lead the SuperSonics to the 1996 NBA Finals and lost in six games to the heavily favorite Chicago Bulls. He is an NBA champion, nine-time NBA All-Star, and a nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member.
Nicknamed the “Reign Man”, Shawn Kemp was one of the most explosive NBA superstars during the 1990s. This six-time NBA All-Star and 1994 gold medalist helped lead the Seattle SuperSonics to the best record in the Western Conference twice and the NBA Finals in 1996. He averaged 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in just 29.8 minutes per game, becoming the first preps-to-pros NBA draft selection to make the All-Star team. Shawn Kemp is widely considered one of the greatest slam dunkers in the history of the NBA.
Kevin Durant was selected second overall in the 2007 NBA draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. The NBA universe knew the slim kid from Washington, D.C. have the potential to be a big star in the league. His scoring prowess made him one of the most unstoppable offensive players ever. At the conclusion of his rookie season, Kevin Durant was named the Rookie of the Year with averages of 20.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1 steal per game. He joined Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James as the only teenagers in NBA history to average at least 20 points per game for a season. Kevin Durant has won an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and an Olympic gold medal. He is recognized as the second best player in the NBA, behind LeBron James.
Ray Allen is one of the greatest shooters to have ever played in the NBA. During his four-year tenure with the Seattle SuperSonics, he broke Dennis Scott’s ten-year-old NBA record for 3-point field goals made in a season and moved into second place on the NBA’s list of all-time 3-point field goals made, trailing only NBA great Reggie Miller. Ray Allen is a ten-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA champion, and is the NBA’s all-time leader both in three-point field goals made and attempted in the regular season, as well as the NBA’s all-time leader in three-point field goals made in the postseason.
Jack Sikma was perhaps the greatest center the Seattle Supersonics has ever produced. Known for his distinctive curly, blonde hair along with his patented step back behind the head jumper, this seven-time NBA All-Star averaged double figures in points-per-game throughout his nine-year tenure with the SuperSonics. He won an NBA championship with the SuperSonics in the 1979 season. Jack Sikma holds the rare distinction of leading the league in free-throw percentage (92.2%) while playing the center position during the 1987–88 season. He averaged 84.9% in free-throw shooting for his career.