As we approach the All Star Game this weekend, we do so knowing that our fan base is making its way back into the collective consciousness of the NBA world.
It feels really good.
During our five year absence, however, much of the country has likely forgotten what a proud 41 years of history our Seattle SuperSonics really had.
Many have forgotten that Dennis Johnson's first NBA Title was won as a Sonic and not a Celtic. Other great players on that 1979 team? Gus Williams. Jack Sikma. Paul Silas. Freddy Brown. Lonnie Shelton.
Likewise, Many NBA fans think of the "point forward" position as one first imagined by Phil Jackson and first embodied by Scotty Pippen, but we know the truth. The brains was Lenny Wilkens. The embodiment was Johnny Johnson, another terrific player on the championship squad.
We as Sonics also fans know that Sam Perkins was the first big man to become a legitimate 3-point threat, while Dirk was still using zit cream.
I haven't even mentioned the most obvious, which was the dynamic duo of Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton.
There is another bit of history that even we some times forget. Though much of the 1980's were forgettable, we had something good going in the latter part of the decade. It was then that we had a young point guard named Nate McMillan and the three headed monster of Dale Ellis, Xavier McDaniel, and a 6-10 shooting and dunking machine named Tom Chambers.
In particular, that group put together a very special season in the 1986-87 campaign. Chambers got the magic started when he scored 34 points to capture the MVP of the All-Star game, which was held in front of a raucous Seattle crowd at the Kingdome. Don't believe me? Watch it here...
It got even better after that. Somehow the team limped into the playoffs with a meager 39-43 regular season, but bullied their way through two series to reach the Western Conference Finals. The first victim was Dallas, whom they beat in four games after getting blown out in Game One. The Sonics then pulled off another stunner when they topped the Houston Rockets 4-2. Here's how that Rockets series ended...
Our history is rich and we need to cling to it. If things go the way they appear to be going and the end result is the one we are hoping for? We can start making new memories in a completely new era.