When the Seattle Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City last year, fans recounted their favorite memories of the historic team. I heard of the glory years, of the 1979 championship, and of the time when the Supersonics were the soul of Seattle sports.
And because I was not alive during this time, I recently decided to take a look back at Seattle’s beloved Sonics. So after much research and reading, here is my all-time Supersonics lineup.
Guard: Gary Payton, 1990-2003: Payton was nicknamed “The Glove” for his tough defense, and he had over 100 steals in every full season with the Sonics. The Sonics all-time leader in points, assists, and 3-pointers, Payton was named to the All-NBA team nine times in his career. He also helped lead the Sonics to four division titles and to the 1996 NBA Finals.
Guard: Fred Brown, 1971-1984: Brown was a captain of the 1979 championship team. Nicknamed “Downtown” for his 3-point shooting touch, Brown was drafted No. 6 overall in 1971 and played all 13 of his seasons for the Sonics. He ranks second in both points and games played for Seattle.
Forward: Shawn Kemp, 1989-1997: “The Reign Man” was well known for his powerful dunks. He averaged a double-double in six of his seasons with the Sonics, and made five All-Star teams. Peaking in the 1996 finals season in which he averaged 23.3 points, Kemp was also a prolific shot-blocker, leading the Sonics in that category.
Forward: Spencer Haywood, 1970-1975: Haywood changed the NBA rules when he left the ABA for the Sonics without entering the draft. He was the Sonics’ first star, and averaged a double-double in four seasons with Seattle. In his best year, 1972-73, Haywood set Sonics records with 29.2 points and 13.4 rebounds.
Center: Jack Sikma, 1977-1986: Sikma was the starting center for the NBA title team. He averaged a double-double for seven straight seasons, and made the All-Star team seven times for Seattle. The franchise’s top big man, Sikma set the Sonics’ all-time record for rebounds and is third in points.
Guard: Gus Williams, 1977-1984: Williams was perhaps the most electric player in Supersonic history. Nicknamed “The Wizard,” Williams played six seasons for Seattle and made the All-Star team in two of those years. He was another key member of the championship squad and averaged over 20 points per game in three of his seasons with the Sonics.
Guard: Ray Allen, 2003-2007: Allen was acquired from Milwaukee in a trade including Gary Payton. An outstanding scorer and pure shooter, he averaged at least 23 points per game in all four of his seasons and made the All-Star team in each of those years. However, he only led Seattle to one playoff berth.
Forward: Detlef Schrempf, 1993-1999: Schrempf, a German, was acquired in 1993 in a trade for Derrick McKey. Despite being the Sonics’ third scoring option in most of his seasons, Schrempf averaged over 15 points per game in all of his seasons with Seattle and made two All-Star teams. He was also a member of the 1996 Finals team.
Forward: Xavier McDaniel 1985-1991: Drafted No. 4 overall by the Sonics in 1985, the “X-Man” made an immediate impact, averaging 17.1 points and eight rebounds as a rookie. An intimidating force on the court, McDaniel led the Sonics from a 39-43 record in 1985 to a conference finals berth the next year. He had four 20-plus points per game seasons and made the All-Star team in 1988.
Center: Sam Perkins, 1992-1998: Though a solid player, Perkins only makes this list because of a lack of big men in Supersonic history. Dubbed “Big Smooth,” Perkins helped lead the Sonics to six playoff berths in his six years at Seattle.