Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 1:22 pm  |  12 responses

Seattle Mariners Honor SuperSonics Before Game

Years later, the scar remains. The Seattle SuperSonics weren’t supposed to lose their franchise, their city. Not with all the great tradition, great players and great fans. Last night, Seattle’s baseball team—the Mariners—honored the history of the SuperSonics and some of its most influential figures before their game against Tampa Bay. Via The Washington Post: “They gathered many of the Sonics’ greatest names, including Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens, George Karl, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Tom Chambers, Hersey Hawkins, Slick Watts, Dale Ellis, Jack Sikma, Spencer Haywood, Fred Brown, Gus Williams, Nate McMillan, Michael Cage and James Donaldson. The Sonics played in Seattle for 41 years before owner Clay Bennett, who purchased the team in 2006, moved them to his hometown of Oklahoma City a year later, leaving the 14th-largest TV market for the 45th. ’We didn’t deserve to lose a team. We lost a team,’ said former Sonics forward Detlef Schrempf, originally from Germany but who played his high school and college ball in Washington. ‘We’re a major city in the U.S. We should have a franchise. You shouldn’t lose it, not the way we did.’ The former Sonics appreciated the gesture by the Mariners. ’Athletes recognize one another. It’s nice the Mariners did this,’ said Wilkens, who led the team to the city’s only championship, the 1979 NBA title. ‘I’m a Mariners fan, I’m a baseball fan. I grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. with the Dodgers. So I go way back to Jackie Robinson. But I’ve lived here 41 years. I’ve watched (basketball) grow. They’ve always had pretty good basketball here, Seattle U. Washington, Gonzaga, Washington State. Then things picked up because kids were seeing Sonics players and were motivated to stay with it.’ … ‘You have pride that you have a team, but when all of that went down it broke my heart,’ said Hawkins, who was part of the team that played the Bulls in the 1996 NBA finals. ‘It was disheartening in the fact that the fans were left out in the cold. Hopefully, we’ll get a team back because this city definitely deserves a team, with all tradition and history the Sonics have.’”

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  • G

    Gone too soon =(

  • tuutu

    why bennet why

  • http://www.homecourthoops.org homeallon

    Bring the Supes Back to the 206!

  • stayweird38

    move the hornets there already!

  • http://bleacherreport.com/nhl Yea?

    Bring back the Sonics!!!

  • Jamaal87

    Clay Bennett, Biggest Douche in The Universe??

  • ktokyo

    The Conference Semifinals was Oklahoma City (45th TV market in the US) and Memphis (4th worst attendance this year). It should have been a great Seattle vs. Vancouver rivalry. The League messed up.

  • Ali Saadat

    dont worry seattle will have a team by 2014 because the hornets arent staying (because of, god forbid, another Katrina and no money in Nawlins. and charlotte may move.

  • SikhWitIt

    Howard Schultz is a punk. Bring em back so we can retire the Glove’s number.

  • http://Slameonline Hoosier

    Absurd that no hoops in the EMERALD CITY!@!! Bring whomever the League and the Stern want. JUST GET US A SQUAD PLEASE!!!

  • http://Slameonline Hoosier

    Props to the reeling SEA MARINERS for the honor

  • Scot Peirson

    The problem here is that La Commish would have to come back begging to Seattle and King County. It is highly unlikely that Stern will do that. This would have been so much simpler if Schultz had sold the team to Steve Ballmer, who probably could have taken the money that he makes in one day to build a nice facility. But what Stern wants if for cities to build places for the teams. In reality, this is going to be where OKC gets slapped down–at some point, Bennett is going to say that the Ford Center isn’t large enough and he needs a place with more seats–or he’ll have to move the team’s most valuable commodity (When he had no intention of paying the length of KD’s contract, anyway). I’ve always felt that Seattle would be more than justified in saying that while they want the Sonics (In some form) back, the city won’t take a team back in the area as long as Stern is commissioner.