Monday, February 28


Some quick notes while wondering when Sean Penn's "Jude Law Defense League" membership card expires, and if he had to pay extra for the "Cranky Attitude Bonus Pak," or if it comes standard ...

Nice to see that The Potato has become part of the Sonics' family again. While Nate continues to mix and match depending upon his opponent, it's a great sign that he has offensive weapon at the 5 that doesn't foul out in 7 minutes (Are you listening James? What about you, Fort?) ... Color me all wrong about Nick Collison. As the months have worn on, the rookie has improved his FT shooting, added shot blocking, continues to hit a high pct. from the floor, and generally earned additional minutes. The draft that looked like something Ted Stepien orchestrated a year ago, has shaped into a key one for Seattle's future ... Seattle's next 4 - against Indy, LeBron, Houston, and Chicago - doesn't look too hot. Especially after that clunker against the Bucks. What the hell happened? ... Flip Murray's minutes in the past 6 games: 22, 8, 24, 0, 17, 4. ... Here's a sentence nobody expected to be reading right after the all-star break this year: "Attention Season Ticket Holders! Please click here to access your account and secure your seats for the upcoming Sonics Playoffs and the 2005-06 Sonics season. Ordering deadline is Wednesday, March 23. Thank you for your loyal support!"


This is so far off the topic that I'm debating whether or not to write it, but since it is vaguely sport-related I'll dive in.

As you all know by now, Hunter S. Thompson took his own life on Sunday with a shotgun to the head. As someone who has read a couple of Thompson's books and scores of his articles in Rolling Stone and, I was saddened to hear of his departure, especially considering he was a vital, albeit difficult-to-grasp, part of the literature scene.

My opinion of the man is changing, though, as stories trickle in from Colorado as to the cause of HST's obvious pain. It appears that HST was tired of the pain of everyday life, from injuries he suffered while on vacation to the maladies he inflicted upon himself during his 67 - shall we say chaotic? - years on this planet. In desparation to relieve his mind of the pain, he committed suicide.

I suppose I can understand his rationale, and I would be a lousy person to critize his motives, being that I have no idea how painful his life was.

Yet, when a man shoots himself in the head while he is talking to his wife on the telephone - as HST did - I begin to think that perhaps he has lost touch with how difficult life can truly be. After all, are his afflictions any more severe than the thousands of kids with cancer throughout this country? Or the people who live on the street with no dignity and all sorts of mental illnesses?

Yet, I suppose the reason I wrote this is the reverence his death has brought from the scores of writers who worked with him over the years. From lackeys, to actors, to God knows who, everyone seems to be saying how wonderful a man he was for living life "on his own terms" and refusing to live with the pain he was enduring.

I'm sorry, but HST was a husband, a father, and a grandfather. As such, he had responsibilties to all of those people. Killing himself doesn't help them any more than moving to Tahiti and shacking up with an island girl would. Since I hate to say something negative amount a man who has recently left us, I'll leave my vitriol for his defenders: Save your breath, friends, for the fathers who work every day despite hating their jobs, so that their children can eat; for grandfathers who look after their grandchildren even though they could be off playing golf or cribbage.

I think they deserve it more.

Thursday, February 24

Sonics unlikely to deal

Samuel Dalembert
Samuel Dalembert a Sonic? Not likely.

The News Tribune's Frank Hughes reports today that the Sonics are unlikely to make a trade before today's deadline.

And personally, I couldn't be happier. Sure, it'd be nice to get someone like Samuel Dalembert, but not if it means giving up the heart and soul of the team. The fact is, this Sonics squad has exceeded everyone's wildest expectations to become one of the best teams in the league, and there's no reason to fix something that's not broken.

Meanwhile, in Denver, I predict George Karl and crew will be making a big move before the end of the day. Another Karl/Payton reunion, perhaps? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 23

Vlad on the move?'s Chad Ford (aka "Nothing I Write Ever Comes True, But, Hey, When Did That Ever Stop Anyone?") is reporting the Sonics are looking to deal Radman with the deadline approaching. Among the options are Samuel Dalembert of Philly, Chris Wilcox of the Clips, or some other crap. Dalembert's a nice fit, a talented big man who would easily start for Seattle.

Still, even though Radman comes off the bench, he's worth a legitimate starter/scorer. I'm hoping that, like everything else Ford writes, this rumor is just that - a rumor.

Happy Birthday Chunky!

Please join us in giving a king-sized birthday spank to our very own Chunkstyle (aka Rafael Calonzo), who turns 33 today. Since I'm too cheap to get him a real present, at least help me get him a free iPod!

Tuesday, February 22

Going Back to Houston

"Going back to Houston/Do the hotdog dance.
Going back to Houston/ Gonna get me some pants."
- Beck, "Odelay"

Close game going on in Houston right now, as the Supes are taking on the Rockets in Texas. Talk (or bitch) about it after the game. Go on. I dare ya!

Monday, February 21

21 is the Magic Number!

And not just because you won't have to hit up random strangers to buy you booze at the 7-11 anymore.

ESPN's Marc Stein offered this juicy tidbit in his look ahead at the last 30 games of the season:

In a season filled with shockers already, this might rank as the biggest: Seattle's magic number to clinch the Northwest Division title is a mere 21. If they win only 11 and the Wolves lose only 10, the Sonics win. In other words, the Sonics win.

Thank goodness the Sonics don't have to play the Clippers or Celtics again.

But, there are 2 more matchups each with Minnesota and Dallas, four against the resurgent Rockets, and final tilts against Phoenix and Denver. Let's not forget that there's a possibility that the Supes will meet up with GP again, what with trade rumors mentioning him going to places like Minny and Denver.

East beats West, 125-115

Tom Chambers, 1987 All-Star MVP

The East beat West, 125-115, in last night's NBA All-Star game. Of course, I wouldn't know since I DON'T HAVE CABLE!! Instead, I was forced to try to recreate the 1987 All-Star game in my mind, since I didn't even have a VCR back then. Ahh, sweet memories.

I think I'd prefer digital cable and a Tivo.

Friday, February 18

All-Starry Eyed

Artis Gilmore, baddass mofo.
Artis is still cooler than you.


"The judges of this year’s Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk are the participants from the inaugural ABA dunk contest that took place in Denver in 1976. Joining the 1976 slam dunk contest winner Julius Erving are George Gervin, Artis Gilmore, David Thompson and Muhsin, formerly known as Larry Kenon."
Putting aside for the moment the more intriguing question of why Larry Kenon bothered changing his name when no one would ever notice, and trying not to picture what the A-Train's mutton chops look like at his age, am I the only thinking that a dunk contest featuring the judges would be a helluva lot more interesting than the ACTUAL dunk contest?

While they're at it, what about bringing back the Old-Timers Game? I say we limit it to guys who have retired at least 5 years ago. Imagine this roster:

Michael Cage, Barkley, Hornacek, Ricky Pierce, Sedale Threatt, Buck Williams, Mark Price, Dominique, Alex English, Nate!, Joe Dumars, Brad Daugherty, Isiah Thomas, Magic!, Bird!, Kurt Rambis!

Seriously, isn't everyone more interested in seeing these guys than the ACTUAL all-stars? Plus, you've got the added bonus of Rick Barry trying to crash the game and causing a scene. That's worth a show in and of itself, don't you think?

Thursday, February 17

Season half empty, or half full?

picture stolen from

I can't believe it's the freakin' All-Star break already. Despite the last couple of lousy games, I think every Sonics fan can agree the first half exceeded everyone's wildest expectations. (Hell, being above .500 would've exceeded MY expectations!)

So, what does the second half of the season hold for our beloved Supes? A 60 win season? A big trade? A total collapse? Discuss amongst your funky selves...

And if you have cable (unlike me!), don't forget to check out Lil' Frodo in the Rookie Whatever Game, tomorrow night at 6pm PST on TNT.

Monday, February 14

Around the Rim

After giving us the highlight of this incredible season - back-to-back wins over Phoenix and Sacto - the Sonics fell on their face in the 4Q against the Mavs. Normally, people would be foretelling the impending doom of the Sonics, but thankfully everyone knows that this game was nothing more than a hiccup on a tremendous year (Ed. note: can a year hiccup?). I look at it this way, if Ray Allen plays his absolute worst, the Sonics are still better than the Mavs, as evidenced last night. You'll get no worries from me on this one.

In other news, Sam Smith wonders if Eddy Curry could be heading for Seattle, in exchange for Flip Murray, Collison, and a 1st-round pick. Geez, Sam, why don't we throw in the Space Needle and Q-13's Double Doppler Weather Tracker? ... Elsewhere, Frank Hughes makes a good argument - in fact, the best I've heard - for why the Sonics need to hang onto Ray Allen.

Friday, February 11

The Kerfuffle at the Key

As referenced by our eagle-eyed readers in the comments section, Danny Fortson has been suspended for two games.

It would have been nice to have Da Fort against the Suns, but, in all honesty, I don't think the Sonics will miss him too much. While I still believe he's going to be a key member of the team come playoff time, Collison's improvement and the up-tempo game the Suns always play add up to a night when Fort isn't that important for Seattle. Just in case you're wondering, I'm still picking the Sonics to cover the spread.

Game Night: Sundown

Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns face off against the Seattle Sonics tonight.
"I shall crush your beloved Sonics, Nussbaum, and then YOU!"

One night after a classic fight with the Kings, the Sonics travel to Phoenix to battle the Suns. At 9.5 point favorites, this is a chance for ALL of us to make some good money. Phoenix is below .500 against the spread at home, and the Sonics cover almost 60% of the time on the road.

Money business aside, this should be a great game. Two teams who want to prove their worth with everyone healthy. In their previous matchup, the Suns' starters all went for double figures, while the bench contributed all of 7 points. Nick Collison has come on since that time (he only played 2 minutes in December against the Suns), so even if Fortson gets suspended, Collison will help pick up the slack.

Good Sign: Karl Malone has retired! Let the celebration begin!
Bad Sing: Nash v Ridnour is not a matchup I relish.

Spread: Suns by 9.5
Predication: Suns 115 - Sonics 110
Record Against the Spread: 14-9

Thursday, February 10

Game Night: Kings of the Road

"Play nice, or I'll throw my headband and cry!"

Great quote in the PI today from Jerome James, referring to how often opponents get angry with Reggie Evans and his brand of defense/rebounding.

"It happens all the time," Sonics center Jerome James said. "Hell, we get pissed off at Reggie in practice."

Great stuff. Well, the Kings have all sorts of reasons to be angry at the Sonics, not the least of which is Evans, who angered Sacto's Brad Miller to no end in the Seattle win last week.

Peja and C-Webb will be in the lineup, as will Ray Allen, so we've got some bona fide superstars on all sides tonight. We can argue the merits of Webber v Lewis on the all-star team until we're hoarse, and there's no doubt that Webber is the better player, but, hey, since when did the 12 best players make it to the All-Star team anyway?

I'm looking for plenty of points, a mouthy white center, some filthy passing, and the requisite matador defense from both teams. Should be a good time.

Good Sign: The Kings could be so angry over all their perceived insults that they'll forget about playing the game.
Bad Sign: You'd suspect that Sacto will try their damndest to avoid a season sweep from Seattle. Oh yeah, Adelman always freaks me out. He's so aryan-looking, I half-expect him to descend from a zeppelin before the start of each game.

Spread: Sonics by 4
Prediction: Kings 108 - Sonics 102
My Picks This Season: 14-8

Wednesday, February 9

The Disappearing Fort

Danny Fortson, along with Seattle Sonics teammates Rashard Lewis and Vladimir Radmonavic
We feel your pain, big fella.

Anybody know what's up with Fortson's minutes? Up 'til Jan 21 he'd been in double-figures every game, all year long. Since then the Supes have played 9 games and he's been below 10 in almost half of them (including a "Thanks for coming out" 3 minutes against the Bobcats the other night).

While I admire the Sonics for being able to win in spite of poor performances from just about anyone, shouldn't we be looking towards the future (i.e., the playoffs) here? Assuming the team remains intact, the only legitimate post presence on this team is Fortson (with the exception of Potapenko, and relying on him is like relying on Dean Martin as your AA mentor). And the playoffs - as we will all hear repeatedly in the next few months - are all about the half-court. What's going to happen when the 3-pointers aren't falling? I'd like to think the Sonics can utilize Fort's ability to get grab offensive boards, get to the line, and sink FTs with a phenomenal success rate come May.

I know Collison's improved game has led to his increased minutes, but who would you rather have in the lineup this May: Danny Fortson or Nick Collison? As foul-prone as Fort is, I'll take his enormous presence over the rookie's any day of the week.

Locke'd on My Opinion

I swear I hadn't read this column before I wrote what I did about Ray-Ray a few days ago.

In any event; Chief, how 'bout setting up a poll for whether the Sonics should trade Allen before the deadline? To make it clearer, the options should be:

1. Sign Allen for whatever he wants (i.e., $90 mil over 5 years).
2. Trade his 30-year-old jump-shooting butt for young guns, then pursure free agents in the next 2 years.

I'd do it myself, but I'm lucky to be able to find the '@' symbol, let alone figure out how to post a poll.

Tuesday, February 8


Ray Allen's going to have some company in Denver in a couple of weeks - and I don't mean Kobe Bryant kind of company.

That's right, Rashard Lewis is headed for the All-Star game.

I think this is a good opportunity to pause and think about what an incredible season this has been - first place in the division, home court in the first round of the playoffs, 2 guys on the all-star team - as Jimmy Johnson would say, "How 'bout them Sonics!"

Ultimate Fan!

Gareth Thomas of Wales is ecstatic victory over England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff February 5, 2005. A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles to celebrate Wales beating England at rugby, the Daily Mirror has reported. REUTERS/Darren Staples
<br />

You know kids, there is such a thing as liking your team too much:
LONDON (Reuters) - A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles to celebrate Wales beating England at rugby, the Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

Geoff Huish, 26, was so convinced England would win Saturday's match he told fellow drinkers at a social club, "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off," the paper said.

Friends at the club in Caerphilly, south Wales, thought he was joking.

But after the game Huish went home, severed his testicles with a knife, and walked 200 yards back to the bar with the testicles to show the shocked drinkers what he had done.

Huish was taken to hospital where he remained in serious condition, the paper said.

Wales's 11-9 victory over England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was their first home win over England in 12 years.

from Yahoo!/Reuters

Monday, February 7

Stats and More

A nice article on the Sonics' website regarding how the team uses statistics to help it make player acquisition decisions, written by the always-interesting Kevin Pelton. It's pleasant to see that Seattle isn't afraid to look beyond scouting to evalute players, but that they aren't so arrogant as to antagonize scouts the way I believe the Oakland A's have done.

In other news, this comes from the Chicago Sun-Times:

"Destined Hall of Famer Gary Payton of the Boston Celtics dearly wants to be traded to his fifth team in two years, preferably to a contender on the West coast. But his best shot at a deal is Seattle, which traded him to start with, unless Minnesota can entice Danny Ainge to take Sam Cassell in exchange."

Not sure who Seattle would be trading, and I honestly think the Glove wouldn't fit with the Sonics as they are currently assembled.


According to the NY Daily News, Phil Jackson may be headed for Seattle. As much as I admire PJ, I'll take Nate, thank you very much.


As to the debate over whether Rashard Lewis can lead the Sonics ...

"Rashard did a great job," said associate head coach Dwane Casey, who is guiding the team while McMillan is away. "He held them together. He was their captain throughout the night. He did a great job of rallying the guys together and made sure they stayed together when things got a little frayed."

from Seattle's game against the Kings last week.


Looks like Ray Allen will be on the cover of the PSP NBA game. Or, you can buy the bootleg version with Flip Murray on the cover. Of course, in that version Murray's pass button only works when he is triple-teamed.

Friday, February 4

Down the Road

The clock is ticking on the trade front. The Sonics have about two weeks left to decide if keeping Ray Allen or trading him for some younger - and cheaper - players is the best option. Herewith is one man's argument for trading him.

It is always difficult to trade a player, and it is no less difficult when that player is at his peak, as Allen is now. That said, Allen is at precipice in his career, from which his statistics are sure to tumble into a range that will not reflect his massive salary.

In July of this year Allen will turn 30. Judging by a scan of 8 similar players, I expect him to have one, or perhaps two, more all-star seasons before sliding into a phase of his career I like to call "The Dale Ellis Years."

Here are the eight players I found to be most similar to Allen; that is, all-star shooting guards who were the best player on their team - for a period of their careers - and consistent all-stars:

Reggie Miller, Michael Jordan, Glen Rice, Ricky Pierce, Dale Ellis, Steve Smith, Allan Houston, and Mitch Richmond.

I broke down their careers into four phases - age 20-25, 26-30, 31-35, and 36+. No surprisingly, they all started out well in the early years, averaging as a group 18 ppg. From 26-30 they came into their collective own, improving to 22 ppg.

However, at the next level the decline began, as they averaged 18 ppg, before plummeting to 11 ppg at age 36+. In fact, the numbers will be even worse in a few years as Houston and Smith finish the 31-35 grouping and introduce the even lower ppg numbers they've been posting this season.

Folks, this is where we're headed. Say what you want about Allen, but there's been only one player who was able to maintain an all-star level from age 31-35 and that's Michael Jordan, and that's only because he dropped from another galaxy into merely the superstar level. Allen is already at the superstar level, meaning his drop will be to Jeff Hornacek-type numbers.

As the Sonics ponder their decision, I suggest they think about if it will be worth it to be spending $15 million a season on a player averaging 18 ppg, or if they would be better off trading Allen now, getting some cheaper players, and acquiring someone like Michael Redd in the offseason for the same amount they'd be paying Allen.

It's worth thinking about.

Thursday, February 3

Jeffrey S, we salute you!

Jeffrey S. of Idaho is our new hero.

Yes, Mr. S made Supersonicsoul history recently by becoming the first person not directly affiliated with the site to buy a Supersonicsoul t-shirt.

God bless you, Mr. S, and may I interest you in a finely-crafted beer stein?

Tuesday, February 1

Gamenight: Sonics vs. Kings

The Sonics are in Sacramento playing the Kings. Go. Now. Watch.

So long, Ibby!

Oh Ibby, we hardly knew ye.

The man I once called the second coming of Detlef Schrempf, is no longer a Sonic. Sigh.
SEATTLE - The Seattle SuperSonics have waived guard Ibrahim Kutluay and activated guard Mateen Cleaves from the injured list, General Manager Rick Sund announced today.

Kutluay, 31, who was signed as a free agent on Sep. 22, played in five games after being activated from the injured list on Dec. 14. In 12 minutes of action, he grabbed one rebound and committed two turnovers. Kutluay became just the fourth Turkish player in NBA history when he made his debut on Dec. 22 vs. Denver. He missed the season's first 21 games with patellar tendinitis in his left knee.

Let's look at those stats again, folks: 12 minutes, one rebound, two turnovers. C'mon Sonics, I could put up those numbers for half the money! Call my agent!