Thursday, September 15


After reading a good article on Bulls Blog regarding the topic, then referencing Harlan Schrieber’s epic piece about the same, it got me to thinking: Who should be the next Sonic to get his jersey retired?

Schrieber, while mistaken in categorizing Gus Williams as a “Longtime/Mainstay,” rather than a “Very Good” as he was, makes some good points in the article. Still, his list of should-be retired jerseys surprised me (he included Kemp, Detlef, and Spencer Haywood).

Here is one man’s list of players who ought to see their jerseys hanging from the Key Arena rafters (in order of merit):

1. Gary Payton
2. Shawn Kemp
3. Xavier McDaniel
4. Spencer Haywood
5. Dale Ellis
6. Tom Chambers
7. Detlef Schrempf

In all honesty, only the top 4 should really receive consideration, and if you’re holding a gun to my head, I could live with Payton and Kemp.



Anonymous said...

they should do a 'ring of honor' thing like the seahawks do, without retiring a crapload of jersey numbers

Anonymous said...

The only former Seattle Supersonics who still deserve to have their uniform retired are Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp.

Anyhow, that notwithstanding, did Nate McMillan really earn the honor of having his jersey hung up on the rafters?

chunkstyle23 said...

I remember reading that both Spencer Haywood and Gus Williams still hold grudges against the Sonics organization, otherwise they would have had their numbers retired already.

Anonymous said...

I'm just going to get this out of the way right now ...

ak1984, and whosoever else feels the urge to voice this opinion, Nate McMillan is, without any doubt whatsoever, the most revered Sonic player in franchise history. Not retiring his jersey would be a slap in the face of the man who gave 20 years of his life to this organization. Yes, his statistics pale in comparison to Williams, Payton, Wilkens, et al, but his hard-working, selfless personality is second to none. In fact, if you forced me to only pick one jersey to retire, it would be Nate McMillan - and I don't think I would be alone in that choice.

There, I feel better.

Anonymous said...

finally something to talk about, i have been dying for something like this to come up on the soul. my opinion is that GP and the manchild are shoe-ins. as should Gus because he was such a huge part or our championship. i'd also like to see Haywood (scorer/rebounder) and Ellis (one of the 2 or 3 best 3-point shooters of all time) for their big stats and their noterioty. Det--sorry all, doesn't belong. chambers and X-man are on the fence for me. i know that is 5 new jerseys to retire, but tell me why those guys are not deserving? or why X-man Det and Chambers are more deserving?
i love these kind of debates. while we are at it who are the 5 best sonics of all time? i only moved here in '92 so i am bias but here goes a starter list-- please respond with comments and your own lists.
1. GP
2. Kemp
3. Ellis
4. DJ or Gus Williams
5. Sikma

you guys do a great job here at the soul, keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliment. I've been pondering starting a All-Time Best at each position, but was afraid I wouldn't see it through. I'll try to kick it off next week with the Best Sonic Center of All-Time. Can anyone give me a reason why it SHOULDN'T be Jack Sikma?

Anonymous said...

Nuss: did Sikma ever destroy SAC in the playoffs? It's gotta be JJ.



PS: Thank you Isaiah

Anonymous said...

Well, okay, now that the Nate McMillan precedent has been firmly established in the Pacific Northwest, I will thereby be the first guy to advocate the enshrinement of NFL fullback Mack Strong, upon his retirement from professional football, into the Seattle Seahawks' Ring Of Honor.

In all seriousness, however, I've got nothing against McMillan. Yet, in any case, I believe that a professional athlete ought to only be bestowed a prestigious honor if he performed at a level of excellence during his tenure with franchise that employed him. As it is, though, McMillan does not meet the above criteria; hence, his #10 jersey should not be hanging from the rafters at Key Arena.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Just for the record, I think Rueben refered to himself as "The Kobe Stopper."

Anonymous said...

I just realized something this morning: The Sonics can't retire the X-Man's jersey ... because Ray Allen's wearing it! Call me crazy, but this was another good reason for the Sonics to decide not to re-sign Sugar Ray; he's going to screw X out of getting his jersey hung from the rafters.

Anonymous said...

Thank you dannyF...

Let's not jump off the Nate wagon so fast folks...

I would compare Nate McMillans play to that of soon-to-be-retired Mariner Dan Wilson. Does Dapper Dan deserve to have his number retired? Well according to the Mariners, no. In the Mariners own charter, it states that jersey retirements can only be for a player that is in the hall-of-fame (or of that caliber).

Now Dan was one of the best in MLB at blocking pitches in the dirt, and he was also one of the best at calling a game. But, alas, those are two elements of the game they haven't invented numbers for, so you can't really quantify how much better he made the team. However, no one can argue that the M's woudn't had such a long streak of success witout him (or someone of his caliber)behind the plate.

So goes it with Nate. His contributions were not of the "impressive numbers" kind. Some teams elect to honor that kind of contribution, some don't. I'm glad the Sonics did. Hell, when asked about it, Magic Johnson said that Nate was the toughest one-on-one defender he ever faced. That is good enough for me.

Hey Nuss, does Michael Cage count as a center? Plus, ya gotta put him on the nickname team ("The Activator")


Anonymous said...

Funny, I always thought Cage's nickname was "Soul Glow." Or was that just what the 3 of us called him?

Anonymous said...

I attended games at the Coliseum as a kid starting in 1970 (Haywood was my sports idol growing up, sorry Sixkiller & Tommy Harper).
The All-Time Sonics' are in order:
1) Payton, 9 All-Star Games
2) Sikma, 7
3) Haywood, 4
4) Kemp, 4
5) Wilkens, 3

Easy as that . . .

I loved The Wizard & Downtown Freddy; but those first 5 guys spent plenty of time in Seattle while performing at the highest level.

I could care less if any of their numbers were retired. That should be reserved only for Hall of Famers (in this case Payton, with my regrets to Sikma & Wilkens)

Anonymous said...

IMHO, the list of retired Sonics should be as follows:

Lenny #19
Brown #32
Haywood #24
Sikma #43
Williams #1
MacMillan #10
Schrempf #11
Ellis #3