Thursday, July 28


Seattle Sonics free agent Ronald 'Flip' Murray
"Hi, I'm Ronald 'Flip' Murray. Remember me?"

Judging by this news out of Portland, it appears even more likely that Flip Murray will be re-signing with the Sonics. Juan Dixon, who would have fit nicely as the backup to Ridnour and Allen, appears headed to SonicSouth with a 3-year-, $8 mil. contract.

With Dixon and Keyan Dooling seemingly off the market, Flip has moved towards the top of the list. Another new possibilty emerging is Eddie House, late of Sacramento. At 6'1", House would pose a problem when paired with Ridnour, but considering that Sugar Ray's going to be playing between 35 and 40 minutes a game, he won't be in the lineup all that much.

In other news, according to the Times, the Sonics will meet with Radman early next week to discuss how he fits into their '05-'06 plans. According to Percy Allen, the Sonics will likely ink him to a one-year deal, allowing Vlade to become a FA next year.

Wednesday, July 27

What the hell's an FTP?!

The lovely Tor Johnson
Supersonicsoul's technical expert Tor Johnson.

Hey kiddies - The Soul is undergoing a little construction this week, so some of the links may be out of date as we move some files onto the new server (whatever the hell that means!). We'll still have new stories - just some of the old ones might not work yet. In the meantime, enjoy a new story by Nuss (below), or just feast your eyes on the lovely Tor Johnson (above).



This is a bit of a sidebar to the usual hoop hysteria you encounter here, but it's in a way it's tied into what bothers me most about sports reporting.

You'd have to be either deaf or blind not to have heard the wailings from experts on Hollywood's poor showing at the box office this year. Thousands of reasons have emanated from the mouths of pundits to explain this disaster, all of them misguided guesses. Last night on PBS, my wife saw me scream at the talking head who explained that the reason for Hollywood's struggles is a lack of original programming. That's right, "The Dukes of Hazzard" are to blame.

The sad thing is, Hollywood is not losing money, not even relative to last year. As this article in explains (and as the same site explained a month ago), the movie industry - at least the six largest studios - are all up over last year's numbers. In other words, the moaning about what's gone wrong is all a bunch of crap. Ironically, the public loves all these remakes - it's the original programming from independent studios that's causing them to stay home.

This lack of thought from experts drives me absolutely insane. Rather than spend five minutes studying an issue, reporters just regurgitate incorrect facts and cater their opinions to fit the falsities.

Which brings me back to supersonicsoul. The most wonderful aspect of this site, at least to me, is that as soon as I offer my opinion, 20 people write in, explaining why I was right, or - more likely - giving me a 100 examples of why I'm wrong. Can the Sonics re-sign everyone and still maintain cap integrity? I'm pretty sure they could, but I've got plenty of experts who will write in with well thought-out evidence to either agree or contradict my belief.

So, let me be the first to say thank-you to all the readers who criticized me during the past year for being wrong. Without your support, I'd be even more in the dark.

Wednesday, July 20


As the resident Economics Minor on the Supersonicsoul staff, I thought it best if I offered some thoughts on where the Sonics are headed salary cap-wise entering the coming season. After all, if I asked Paul to do it, he’d probably start to shake, mumbling something along the lines of, “Hey, how ‘bout we sign the X-man!”

Anyway, here’s where we stand as of July 20:

Rashard Lewis, $8,571,000
Danny Forston, $6,415,584
Nick Collison, $1,815,000
Luke Ridnour, $1,638,000
Robert Swift, $1,764,480
Ray Allen, $16,000,000 (estimated)
Johan Petro, $1,700,000 (estimated)

Adding those fellows up brings us to a total of $37,904,064 for seven players. Bear in mind that Petro’s salary will not fluctuate far from the figure listed while Allen’s salary could swing by millions, as his contract is dependent upon how the Sonics need to fill their roster. Being that the Sonics are not pursuing any huge free agents this off-season, I don’t think he’ll be donating any dollars to Howard Schultz this season.

That leaves five players and $12,895,936 (assuming Dan Rosenbaum’s salary cap estimation holds true). There are three roles the Sonics need to fill from those two spots:

1. Backup PG
2. Sixth Man
3. Backup/Starting C

Ideally, the Sonics would fill those roles with either Marko Jaric/Earl Watson/Brevin Knight, Vlade Radmanovic, and someone like Dale Davis. Let’s assume that Vlade’s comments to the Seattle Times (along the lines of “start me or ship me”) are hyperbole, and that he doesn’t mind returning to Seattle. In that case ...

Vladimir Radmanovic, $7,000,000

That leaves us three players and $5,895,936. Jaric has been a somewhat hot commodity this summer, as plenty of teams have had him in for a tryout. Watson also has been pursued, though he hasn’t seemed to receive as much ink as Jaric. Jaric is a fine player, but I don’t see him pursuing a backup role when he could conceivably start elsewhere, leaving the Sonics looking squarely at Earl Watson.

At 6’1”, Watson does not offer the Sonics much in the way of size, and putting him in the same lineup with Allen and Ridnour – as the Sonics did with AD – is inconceivable. Meaning he could only be on the court when Ridnour rides the bench, a not unacceptable situation. In a perfect world, the Sonics would get Jaric to come off the bench and replicate AD’s success, but since Halle Berry doesn’t live next door to me, I guess this isn’t a perfect world. Other options would include Rick Brunson (no, thanks), Brevin Knight (fine by me), Keyon Dooling (poor shooter, but good size), or Gary Payton (!). Like Earl himself, Watson’s salary demands will not be too tall, meaning

Earl Watson (or equivalent), $1,500,000

That leaves two players and $4,395,936. One spot could go to

Damien Wilkins, $750,000

That leaves two players and $3,645,936. Bear in mind that Reggie Evans and Vitaly Potapenko are still free agents and count against the Sonics’ cap until they are signed (unless they were renounced, if I understand the CBA correctly), but let’s assume that the rumors of the Potato signing in Miami are true and Reggie finds new life elsewhere. So let’s just say

Dale Davis, $3,200,000

And, of course,

Mateen Cleaves, $300,000

That leaves us $145,000 for Howard Schultz to put towards a way to incorporate caffeine into baby food and $936 to buy Bob Weiss some real fancy playing cards.

Here’s the roster:

PG – Ridnour, Watson, Cleaves
SG – Allen, Wilkins
SF – Lewis, Radman, Wilkins
PF – Collison, Fortson, Radman
C – Davis, Forston, Swift, Petro

On the whole, not too much different than last season, with the notable exceptions of the addition of Davis and the loss of Daniels. It’s also worth noting that three of the five starters from the final game of the year (JJ, AD and Reggie Evans) would be gone. However, I’d venture the negative of Watson v Daniels would be offset by the consistent play of Davis, the improvement of Ridnour, and the improvement of Collison.

That’s enough of spending someone else’s money for me. Now I’ll go home and see how my wife spent ours.

A.D. takes a Whiz (job)

Antonio Daniels, who helped turn around the Seattle Supersonics last season, will sign with the Washington Wizards today.
"Who wants my number? Noel Felix? Kaniel Dickens? Anyone?"

We knew this was going to happen, but it still hurts.

According to the P.I., Antonio Daniels will sign with the Washington Wizards today:
Backup point guard Antonio Daniels, a key player in the Sonics' run to the Western Conference semifinals this spring, has agreed to a five-year contract with the Washington Wizards, reported late Tuesday.

Daniels, an unrestricted free agent, agreed to a deal worth an estimated $30 million, according to the Web site.

Daniels, 30, spent two seasons with the Sonics. He joined the team as a free agent on July 19, 2003. After averaging 8.0 points and 4.2 assists per game in 2003-04, he increased his scoring average to 11.2 points last season.

Read the rest in the P.I. and
Would the last player to leave the Sonics please remember to flush?

Tuesday, July 19

Hot Summer League Action: Get some!

Robert Swift, 19-year-old center of the Seattle Supersonics
Robert Swift, working on some new bench poses.

While the Bob Weiss love-fest continues, the Sonics are actually playing some games in the Rocky Mountain Something-or-Other summer league.

Seattle picked up it's first win of the summer with an 80-62 "victory" over Utah's Summer Scrubs. Former Louisville star Larry O'Bannon led the Supes with 14 points (2-4 from 3pt range), while Johan "Le Pew" Petro somehow managed to cram six fouls, three turnovers, three blocks, and two steals into only 13 minutes of playing time. Well done!

After a lousy first couple of games, Mateen Cleaves bounced back withs 11 points and five assists. Robert Swift, who is getting some major playing time this summer, scored four points and had four boards in 22 minutes.

So, what did Coach Sikma think about the young bucks?
"A couple of things happened. Starting off against Charlotte (in the league opener) with their pressure defense, that’s a tough one to start. Once you spend some time with the players and you get to know where they are most effective, that’s part of the process. And then we had a good ball game against San Antonio. Britton Johnsen hit some 3s early and Andre Barrett finished it. But we were in that ball game. These guys got a little spunk to ‘em. They thought we could play better, and they were ready and came out right at ‘em. Mateen (Cleaves – 23 minutes, 11 points, 5 helps) stepped up and set the tone and handled our offense really well. Got the ball to guys in position, handled their pressure. Our 2-position was really good. Larry O’Bannon (6-2 from Louisville, 17 minutes, 14 points on 8 tries) came in and gave us a good lift. Ezra Williams (6-4 Georgia product, 17 minutes, 12 points on 8 tries) is just a flat-out scorer. If you give him a good look, he’s gonna bury it. Then we had a nice mix of post-ups with (Noel) Felix (16 minutes, 13 points on 7 tries) and our bigs. Had a lot of buttons to push tonight. It just happened to fall in place and hopefully it stays that way."

from Hoopsworld
Seattle takes on Atlanta's JV squad tonight. Noel Felix: it's your time to shine!

Monday, July 18


Are new Supersonics coach Bob Weiss and The Flintstones' Mr. Slate one and the same?

Asked why he could be successful in Seattle as a head coach compared to his other jobs, he said, "We don't have any players on a respirator. The first couple jobs I had were complete rebuilding jobs....This is first opportunity I've had to work with talents like Ray, Rashard, the nucleus, Luke (Ridnour), Nick Collision ...”

Seattle Times, July 18th, 2005

That would be a wonderful reason to hire Bob Weiss, if it were, in fact, the truth.

Unfortunately, it is not.

Sadly, while Mr. Weiss is correct in that his stints with the Spurs and Clippers were with teams that were going nowhere, he seems to have conveniently forgotten what happened in Atlanta.

Let us take a quick look at the talent on the “rebuilding job” Edelweiss was stuck with down south lo, those many years ago (all stats for 1990-91, Weiss’ first year):

Dominique Wilkins (age 29, 27 ppg, 7 rpg)
Moses Malone (age 34, 19 ppg, 10 rpg)
Doc Rivers (age 28, 13 ppg, 5 apg)
Kevin Willis (age 27, 12 ppg, 8 rpg)

And let’s not forget the other players on the Hawk bench, men such as Antoine Carr, Kenny Smith, and Spud Webb, or players that arrived later in his tenure, such as Mookie Blaylock and Stacey Augmon. Seriously, would you trade that Atlanta roster for Seattle’s right now? Doc vs Luke? Nique vs Rashard? Willis vs Collison? Moses vs Johan Freakin' Petro?

Or how about that during Weiss’ three years in Atlanta, the Hawks never won a playoff series, then promptly advanced to the 2nd round the year after he got canned (under Lenny Wilkens)?

No, Bob, you’ll have to peddle that crap somewhere else. Look, it is evident the Sonics’ roster seems to like you, and you have a familiarity with the team that no outsider would. But, quite frankly, who cares? After all, did Larry Brown know anything about Detroit’s roster before he took them to the Championship? Did Phil Jackson in LA or Chicago?

Weiss is right, though, his failure in Atlanta was due to a lack of talent. It’s just that the lack of talent was his.

Weiss is the man

The Seattle Supersonics will name Bob Weiss as their new head coach today.
"That's right, suckas - The ORIGINAL Mr.Sonic is back, ya'll! Holla!"

Proving that our man Danny Fortson is truly calling the shots, the Sonics picked Bob "I gotta come up with a nickname for this guy" Weiss as their new head coach today:
The Seattle SuperSonics are on the verge of naming Bob Weiss their new head coach.

An announcement could come as early as today, according to sources.

Weiss has been offered a contract, though no details were available. The team was waiting for Weiss to sign.

Weiss would replace Nate McMillan, who left unexpectedly July 6 to accept an offer to coach the Portland Trail Blazers. Sources said the delay in naming a replacement was because principal owner Howard Schultz was out of the country.

An assistant with the Sonics since 1994, Weiss has been endorsed by key players, including Ray Allen.

Weiss was a player on the original Sonics, coming to the team in the expansion draft of 1967.

From The Tribune.
So, Supersonicsouliacs, what are you gonna do when Weiss-a-mania is running wild on YOU?!

Friday, July 15

Trader Bob to become Owner Bob?

Could Bob Whittsitt become the next owner of the Seattle Sonics?
"Hmm... I wonder which Northwest team I should F-up next?"

Our pal Henry Abbott over at True Hoop is the bringer of bad news once again. This time, it's a nasty rumor about Bob "I traded Scottie Pippen for Olden Polynice" Whittsitt returning to the Sonics:
Peter Vecsey reports that former Seattle and Portland General Manager Bob Whitsitt is part of a group hoping to buy the SuperSonics. I know Trader Bob has pulled off some major trades (Scottie Pippen for two old pairs of shoes and a hand towel wasn't bad). But in Portland, his departure is widely seen as a high point in recent Portland history. Ditto at his next job, with the Seattle Seahawks. I wouldn't want him owning my team.

Read more here.
Somewhere, in the vast Canadian wilderness, Nussbaum is screaming.

(Thanks to Henry and "Lance Uppercut" for the tip.)

Summer School

Robert Swift is one of two players returning from last year's summer-league team. Kent Horner/NBAE/Getty
Could this be Swift's big year? BWAH-HA-HA! Sorry.

With the all the gloom and doom over the departures of Nate, Jerome, and A.D. (oh my!), it's a tough time to be a Supersonics fan.

Luckily, Summer League starts today, where hope springs eternal, and Seattle Hoopheads eagerly search for a Gerald Green-like breakout performance by one of the youngsters. Who will it be this year? Mateen Cleaves? Robert Swift (snicker)? Maybe one of the undrafted rookies: Louisville's Larry O'Bannon or former Kansas star Aaron Miles?

I really don't know that much about the rest of the roster, but perhaps one of our more knowledgeable pundits will enlighten us. Like who the hell is Kaniel Dickens?

Thursday, July 14

Bye-Bye "Big Game" James

Former Sonics center Jerome James signed with the New York Knicks today.

The mass exodus of the 04-05 Miracle Sonics continued today, with Jerome "Big Garbage Bag Game" James signing with the New York Knicks. Well, at least he (unlike Nate) had the common decency to sign with a team on the opposite coast! I just wish he could have waited until I ran the story about his pimped out rides.
James, who played the last four seasons in Seattle, agreed yesterday to a five-year deal with the Knicks, according to his agent. Precise terms will not be set until the league completes its new labor deal. But it was expected that James will earn about $5 million in the first year of the contract, and $29 million over five years.

Before the contract is signed, James will be installed as the starting center, a job he will win by default. The Knicks traded their only true center, Nazr Mohammed, in February, and traded his replacement, Kurt Thomas, in June. The team drafted a center, Channing Frye, but he may not be ready for full-time work as a rookie.

From the New York Times (registration required)
Even though James has been a career under-achiever and often played like a poor-man's Benoit Benjamin, it was fun to see him come alive in the playoffs. J.J. was the heart and soul of last year's team, having "invented" the post-game huddle, and has developed into one of the unique characters in the league, resembling another under-achieving but lovable center, Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins.

Does he deserve $29 million over five years? No. Will he be out of the league, bankrupt, and selling sports drinks out of the back of a van in five years? Probably. But I will always love J.J. for giving us one of the great playoff runs in Sonics history. And for wearing a garbage bag.

Tuesday, July 12

The Rooks

Newly signed rookie Johan Petro: He so crazy!

With all the hemming and hawing (mostly by me) about the departure of Nate McMillan, it's easy to forget that just a few weeks ago, the Sonics drafted a couple of nimble young Frenchmen!

Wait, wait... put the gun down... it's not as horrible as it sounds! Thanks to the Supersonicsoul International Scouting Team™ (Mateo, DannyF, and desmond.mason24), we have some very promising video of the French-Fried Forwards:
Johan Petro Video

Mickael Gelabale Video #1

Mickael Gelabale Video #2

Mickael Gelabale Video #3

Mickael Gelabale Video #4

Mickael Gelabale Video #5

(Thanks again to Mateo, DannyF, and desmond.mason24 for tracking these down!)

BONUS! Speaking of draft stuff I should've posted two weeks ago, check out Henry Abbott's "Draft Pronounciation Guide".

Monday, July 11


Just some random notes gleaned from the internet ...

The Nuggets are apparently interested in Flip Murray.

The Jazz’ draft-day selection of Illini guard Deron Williams has cooled Antonio Daniels interest in signing up with the Mormons.

Even if the Sonics were interested in Flip Saunders, it appears he ain’t interested in them. Of course, for what it’s worth, that same article mentioned there was zero chance Bret Boone would be joining the Twins.

As in Utah, both AD and Grizzlies’ PG Earl Watson have expressed interested in playing in Miami, replacing free agent Damon Jones.

Daniels and Vlade Radmanovic are both rated as among the top 10 available free agents by one website.

Sunday, July 10

Coach Question Mark

The Seattle SuperSonics have told prospective candidates for their coaching vacancy that they have trimmed their list of potential replacements for Nate McMillan to Marc Iavaroni, current assistant Bob Weiss and at least one other person, sources said. - The News Tribune

Well, it seems like everyone's got a favorite candidate to coach the Sonics. I'm still holding out for Lenny (c'mon, he's only 90!), but here's what sane people are thinking:
The Seattle SuperSonics have told prospective candidates for their coaching vacancy that they have trimmed their list of potential replacements for Nate McMillan to Marc Iavaroni, current assistant Bob Weiss and at least one other person, sources said.

A third candidate is thought to be Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, whom Sonics general manager Rick Sund contacted in the past few days to inquire about Izzo’s interest.

Also, the Sonics have let it be known that they are going to be cost-conscious, which would seemingly rule out coaches such as Flip Saunders and Doug Collins, who would command larger salaries because of their NBA experience.

That said, it seems as if Iavaroni, an assistant to Phoenix Suns coach Mike D’Antoni and a close friend of Sonics CEO Wally Walker, is the front-runner for the job. Iavaroni was likely to get the Portland Trail Blazers job if McMillan didn’t take it.

from the Tribune
Meanwhile, the real brains behind the Sonics, Danny "Da Fort" Fortson, says his pick is Bob "The Original Wheedle" Weiss:
"He'd be my No. 1 vote," forward Danny Fortson said yesterday during a telephone interview. "He's well-deserving. He's paid his dues. I think a lot of us can relate to him. ... Now, it might not happen for him, but I'd be very comfortable with Bob Weiss as my coach."

Weiss, a member of the first Sonics team in the 1967-68 season, has strong ties to the franchise, has detailed knowledge of the players and favors the up-tempo offense the Sonics have adopted.

from The Times
So, what do you think? Weiss? Izzo? Iavaronionioni? How about Nussbaums's darkhorse, Eric Musselman? Did I mention Lenny?

Thursday, July 7


Former NBA coach Eric Mussleman
Eric Musselman: Future Sonics coach?

G-State W-L in the five years pre-Mussels:
Warriors in Mussels’ two years:
Warriors post-Mussels:

Does not rely heavily upon the 3-point shot
Gets the most out of his talent
Capable of coaching up-tempo or slow-down game
Develops young players. Arenas, J-Rich, Boykins, Brian Cardinal, Troy Murphy, and Dampier are all players who had some of their best seasons under Mussels, or else began to show improvement in play during his reign.
Knows the importance of rebounding. GS went from outrebounding or matching their opponents in his two years to being outboarded by a 320-rebound margin last year.

Not a fan of Da Fort. Fortson went from double-double pre-Mussels to trouble-trouble and see ya later.
Did not develop Adonal Foyle or Mike Dunleavy. But, then again, neither has anyone else.
Didn’t take the Warriors over the hump and into the playoffs.
Had a less-than-fantastic relationship with his team.

To me, the minuses do not outweigh the pluses. The Sonics are a veteran-type team that needs a guider more than a punisher. Unlike the Warriors, who needed guidance but didn’t want it, the Sonics have an established leader who knows that winning is the only thing separating him from true greatness. Collison, Ridnour, Lewis, Radman, Allen – these are all solid citizens who just need someone with a bit of intelligence to help them along. It’s unknown if Mussels can handle Sugar Ray’s (thanks, Hank) large number of FGA, or if he and Fort can coexist, or if he can enable Lewis to develop into a legitimate all-star.

Still, he’s relatively inexpensive, has a good hoop pedigree, and has a modicum of NBA experience. Unlike Saunders (too expensive), Carlisimo (too much of a headache), Silas (not enough energy), and Iavaroni (no experience at all), Musselman is ready to help the Sonics right away at a fair price. Most important, putting Mussels in place doesn’t mean the Sonics will take a back step next season. If I’m Wally Walker, I make the call today.

Wednesday, July 6

Portland steals Nate, kicks Sonics in groin

According to ESPN, longtime Sonics coach Nate McMillan will leave Seattle to coach the hated Portland Trailblazers.
Portland's that way... jerk.

In the worst blow to civic pride since Griffey Junior headed to Cincy, Nate McMillan succumbed to the dark side today, taking the money and running all the way to Portland:
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Trail Blazers will hold a press conference Thursday, July 7, to introduce Nate McMillan as the club's 11th head coach in team history.

McMillan will be introduced at an afternoon gathering open to the public at the Washington Park Amphitheater at 4:30 p.m.

McMillan joins the Trail Blazers after serving as head coach of the Seattle Supersonics since November 27, 2000, compiling a record of 212-183 (.537).

Read the rest (if you haven't already killed yourself) here:
I don't know if words can describe how much I hate Paul Allen right now. No, wait, they can: I HATE PAUL ALLEN!!!

Tuesday, July 5

Ray-Ray Returns!

According to his agent, Ray Allen will sign a five-year deal with the Sonics today.
Thanks Ray, the lunchbox is in the mail!

Break out the "fine champagna": it looks like Ray-Ray is re-signing with the Sonics.
All-Star shooting guard Ray Allen has agreed to a new contract that will keep him with the Seattle SuperSonics, has learned.

Terms of the deal were unknown. Last February negotiations broke down on a five-year extension in which the Sonics were offering $75 million while Allen was holding out for an $80 million deal.

Allen's return to the Sonics is expected to help them in their contract negotiations with coach Nate McMillan, who expressed reservations about returning to Seattle unless Allen and other free agents were re-signed.

All right, Nate, now it's your turn!

UPDATE: It's official: Ray Allen re-signs with the Sonics for five years, $80 million.

Nate Watch

Sonic fans hope coach Nate McMillan will re-sign with the club this week.
Don't leave us, Nate!

The Nate McMillan watch continues this week with several conflicting and probably untrue stories and/or rumors. First, the Seattle Times reports that the Sonics have given Nate until tomorrow to decide if he wants to stay with team.

Speaking of the Seattle Times, the Northwest's worst sports columnist Steve Kelley (who famously gave up on the '87 Sonics) tells Nate to "chase the money" to Portland. Nice. I'd tell you to do the same, Stevie, but no one except the Times is stupid enough to pay you.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reports that Nate is "moving closer to finalizing a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers". GUH?!

So, what do all these crazy stories and/or rumors mean? It means that, until tomorrow, no one really knows what Nate McMillan is going to do except Nate McMillan.