The worst part of having no strong rooting interest in this year's NBA playoffs was knowing that me and my city should have had one of the best cars in the championship race.
You remember the team that Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks beat in the Western Conference Finals? Those babyfaced guys with the toothpaste-colored jerseys that said "Oklahoma City" on the front? Yeah, that team should have been wearing green, and the jerseys should have said "Seattle."
It's been three years since the Supersonics were hustled out of Seattle and turned into the OKC Thunder, and it's still easy for Sonics fans to play the "What If?" game. What if KeyArena was still the home base of Kevin Durant's evolution into the deadliest scoring machine the NBA has ever seen? What if Russell Westbrook had become Baron Davis 3.0 in our uniform? What if the Sonics—not the Thunder—were the NBA's Next Big Thing?
And that's just looking at the future. Going back into the past we can see stars and legends who, had things gone a little differently, become famous while playing for the Sonics. Sometimes it was a missed opportunity in the NBA Draft. Sometimes it was a trade that fell through. Sometimes it's a last-minute free agency decision. But it's a long list full of talented players.
Of course, with an exercise like this you have to suspend reality a little bit. If the Sonics had always made the right draft pick or the right trade, the team's record would put them in different draft and trade positions. So take these on a case-by-case, year-by-year basis.
Also, since it's not fair to single out one team for underrating a player that everybody else underrated, I put in a 10-pick margin for error when it comes to the NBA Draft. So if Seattle had the 12th pick in a year in which, say, Tony Parker went 28th, it'd be unrealistic to say they should have known to take TP that high.
With that, here are the top 25 players from the past 25 years who could have been Sonics: