It was a special year, the very year the magic happened - I became a Sonics fan! I unfortunately came into the Sonics fold too late to catch the championship wave. Despite that, the 1984 team has always held an important place in my heart.
The 42-40 record has always seemed out of place for a team with this level of talent, and bowing out in the first round of the playoffs to the Dallas Mavericks 3-2 didn't do much to convince most that the regular season record was an aberration.
But when you look at the roster, you see some great talent and some incredible balance.
Sikma. Gus. Chambers.
Five guys averaged double figures. Three averaged over 18 points a game. This was Downtown Freddie Browns final season - going out with a bang right? Whimper. It was David Thomson's last year in the NBA as well, and he was limited to just 19 games unfortunately. Gus Williams went to the Bullets following the season, and then Lenny Wilkens was gone as coach just one year later. A lot of change followed this team.
It is hard to argue this is the best Sonics team, so I won't. But I will argue that this is one of the more talented yet under-performing teams assembled in Seattle. They had some really good parts, but it never came together with this roster.
Some of it was great competition (exhibit A: Showtime Lakers), but I think a lot of it was unrealized potential and missing some key parts that could push them to the next level. They were good enough to not embarrass themselves, but not good enough to push the upper echelon teams.
Jack Sikma led the team in points, rebounds, blocks, turnovers, minutes played, free throws attempted and was a close second place in fouls. He was a beast. Gus Williams had a great season as well, and Chambers was really finding his place as an offensive force. But they ran into a very under rated Mavericks team, and the rest as they say, is history.
(Moody Madness - Sonics @ Mavericks - 1984 NBA Playoffs via studentoftheNBA)
I'm hoping some of you who have been fans longer than me, and have better memories than me, can fill in some more details from this season. I was in 4th grade, and we didn't have cable TV, so my exposure was pretty limited. So share your memories, enlighten us with what would've pushed this team to the next level, and help us see why it all got torn apart.
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