Friday, September 30

Grg


Amazingly, it’s been a decade since the heyday of the Sonics, back when Karl, Kemp, Payton, Det, et al dominated headlines around here.

In a strange sort of way, a reunion of sorts has taken place in Portland – a reunion that’s gone as rotten as week-old potato salad. It appears erstwhile Sonic ├╝berassistant Tim Grgurich, Nate McMillan, and Portland’s management have gotten into a snit, culminating in a lawsuit filed by Grgurich against the Blazers. It’s a messy story, but Grgurich claims he became persona non grata after McMillan took over in July, and, to add insult to injury, the Blazers are blocking him from other coaching jobs. According to the article, Grgurich may wind up in Denver, reunited with – surprise! – George Karl. (On a side note, how amazing is it that Karl, McMillan, Dwayne Casey, Terry Stotts, and Bob Weiss – all members of George’s staff/team in the mid-90s – are all head coaches in the NBA?).

If you’re like me, your first question has to be: Where is Bob Kloppenburg amidst all this turmoil?

Wednesday, September 28

Nicknames

With the Sonics inking Flip Murray yesterday, only Reggie Evans remains in finishing their roster moves for the summer. With that in mind, how about an in-depth statistical analysis of every Sonic player’s per-minute/per-second contri...

Aw, screw it. It’s raining outside here in Vancouver and the last thing I want to think about is how many points per minute Vladimir Radmanovic scores when he’s playing small forward while Flip plays the 2. So, without further ado, it’s time for the

GREATEST SONIC NICKNAMES OF ALL TIME!

C: Big Smooth
Reason: Epitomizes Sam Perkins’ character to a T. You can feel the slow, almost lackadaisical way he back-pedaled to his defensive position.

PF: The X-Man
Reason: Before the X-Files, there was the X-Man. The baddest man in Sonic history also has the baddest nickname. Think Wes Matthews would argue?

SF: Tommy Gun
Reason: Tom Chambers never met a shot he didn’t like.

SG: Downtown
Reason: It ties perfectly with Fred Brown’s game, it rhymes, and it is the perfect 70s nickname.

PG: The Wizard
Reason: Gus Williams was all over the court back in the day, and his moves merited the nickname. Bonus points for alliteration.

Reserves: The Glove, The Reign Man, Slick, JJ, DJ, Mac-10, Big Ben, Det, The Fiddler, The Brick, Cool Breeze, The Collector, Bones, Ukraine Train, and Bob “Ja” Rule (the last, alas, exists merely in my imagination).

Let the debating begin.

Ronald returns (and so does Paul!)

Flip Murray re-signed with the Seattle Supersonics today.

Flip Murray re-signed with the Seattle Supersonics yesterday, inking a one-year deal with the team. According to the Seattle Times, the Sonics offered Murray a multi-year deal similar to the one The Omen signed but, like Radman, he turned it down. Good move, Flip! Have fun working at a taco wagon next year with Latrell Sprewell.

In less exciting news, after taking pretty much the entire summer off for paternity leave, I have re-signed with Supersonicsoul. Terms were not disclosed, but it is believed to be a long-term contract worth at least four tacos.

Wednesday, September 21

Radman


With thanks to reader Rich King, we can report that the Sonics have inked the Eurotrashiest man in Puget Sound to a one-year deal. That's right, Vladimir Radmanovic is back in the green and gold, for one more year at least.

I found this quote from Rick Sund to be humorous:

“We’re happy Vladimir has decided to return to the Sonics," Sund said.

I think it's safe to say that Vladimir has decided to return to the Sonics in much the same way that the French "decided" to install a puppet Nazi regime in 1942. Radman, like the Vichy French, had no choice.

We can debate this until we're all blue in the face, but I'll come out and say that signing Radman to anything resembling what he was asking previously is foolish, and that the Sonics are better off letting him play for one year and then letting him walk away.

Farmer

Winter, 1990.

It's late in the 4th quarter and the supersonicsoul's editors are cooling their heels in the dark rafters of the Colisseum, the possibility of the internet as far from their minds as the possibility of a date with a woman with two working legs. As the Sonics secure their victory, a young man named Jim Farmer enters the game.

Unbeknownst to everyone, Sunny Jim is about to unleash the most surprising move in Sonic history. With less than a minute to play, Farmer (a wisp of a player at 6'4", 190) darts into the lane and throws down a monster jam. The 3 said editors jump out of their seats in a combination of joy and complete surprise.

The minute the final buzzer sounds, they hop into Merrill's car, floor it, and just make it home to Fairwood in time to see the ESPN highlights. In that era of pre-internet, pre-Fox Sports, pre-everything, the highest sort of praise was to make it on SportsCenter. Dan Patrick & Co. do not disappoint, and the memory becomes etched in stone.

Happy Birthday, Jim Farmer.

Monday, September 19

Go (Albuquerque) Thunderbirds!

The NBA announced the Developmental League affiliations today.

But all we care about is where our kids are gonna get assigned, and which teams would also send their kids there:

Albuquerque Thunderbirds
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Sacramento Kings
  • Seattle SuperSonics
  • Utah Jazz

The T-birds are coached by Michael Cooper, the ex-LA Lakers player/LA Sparks coach/Denver Nuggets interim coach.

Friday, September 16

Newsflash: Merrills Add New Son for Frontcourt Depth

...And starting at power forward... from Ballard High School...

Paul, his wife Sue, and their son James rounded out their starting lineup with a new addition to the roster--Charles William Merrill. Weighing in at a hefty 8 pounds, 6 ounces, this highly touted rookie figures to be a dominating presence in the paint for years to come.

"He's a little butterball," a tired but proud Paul commented after Charles' arrival.

From everyone at Supersonicsoul, best wishes to the Merrill family! And Happy Birthday, Charlie!

Thursday, September 15

Jerseys

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.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 14

Kicks

Good Lord, there is nothing going on in the world of basketball. To tide you over until the Sonics decide what to do with Radmanovic, take a look at Rashard Lewis' newest shoes, courtesy of nike.com. Personally, I'm waiting for Vitaly's own brand to come out before I waste any of my money.

Friday, September 9

Radmanovic

Let’s get right to it. In my mind, there were 3 key questions to Seattle’s summer:

1. Should we sign Ray Allen?
2. Should we sign Nate McMillan?
3. Should we sign Vladimir Radmanovic?

The first two are in the books and now it’s time to decide Radman’s fate. I’ve been looking at the figures for awhile, and floating from the “Don’t give that Eurotrash a 7-year contract” camp to the “Without Radman, we’re screwed” camp, and back again.

I’ve come to this opinion:

Vladimir Radmanovic, while uniquely talented offensively, ain’t worth $50 million.

Let’s face it, you can count on one hand the number of guys in this league who can do the things Radman can. Hit 3’s? Yes. Run the court? Yes. Play matador defense? Youbetcha. I know this is going to sound crazy, but Vladimir is truly a poor man’s Dirk Nowitzki, or a rich man’s Tim Thomas.

The major knock against Radman is his defense, and it’s justified. His Defensive Rating (courtesy of basketball-reference.com) measures out to 109 points per 100 possessions. Without context, that’s a meaningless stat, so here’s some context:

Nowitzki, 100
Donyell Marshall, 105
Keith Van Horn, 108
Tim Thomas, 111
Tayshuan Prince, 104
Reggie Evans, 105
Nick Collison, 107

Basically, Radman’s on the lower end of the scale, which is what you’d expect. However, 82games.com expands their statistics to include when players are on and off the court. When Vlade was on the court last year, the Sonics allowed 109.9 pts/100 poss. When he sat, they allowed 110.9, indicating he didn’t hurt the team at all. Interestingly, Sugar Ray’s nemesis, Bruce Bowen, posted nearly identical figures (you can see them here).

However, you can look at the stats even more closely, and see how his opponents did against him with Vlade on defense. In reality, he made average players into stars, as indicated by the fact that players averaged 24, 20, and 26 pp48 min. at SF, PF, and C with Radman on defense. Compare that to almost any other Sonic, and you’ll see that Vlade is inferior. In fact, I’d wager that when Vlade wasn’t wearing sweatpants, the other 4 players on the court saw their defensive numbers get better, simply because the other team was feeding Vlade’s guy.

Folks, Vlade’s defense is what will always relegate him to sixth-man status for any legit playoff team. With Rashard Lewis’ contract due for renewal after next season, the Sonics cannot afford to tie themselves down to Sugar Ray and Vlade. Lewis has another 5-7 years of greatness before he starts to fade. Vlade does not.

Just say no, Rick.

Monday, September 5

Brunson Burner hits the bigtime!

Seattle Supersonics supersub Rick Brunson

The Brunson Burner is back!

Just when things were getting slow in Sonicsville, ESPN.com runs a front page story about Rick Brunson. Rick Brunson, ladies and gentlemen!

(Thanks to Carl for the tip!)

It's the New Style

Supersonicsoul's resident style guru Chunkstyle23 (aka Rafael Calonzo, Jr.) has given the old place an extreme makeover. Chunky, we salute you!

Friday, September 2

Happy Birthday, Pete!


Back in the days when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore
But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again

--Ahmad "Back in the Days"

We interrupt this off-season for an important message:

Supersonicsoul MVP, Pete Nussbaum, turned one metric year older today. Like most guys, we're pretty lame about remembering stuff like this. Thanks to my wife for reminding me.

Happy Birthday, Old Timer!

Katrina

With the devastation seeming to grow worse as the days go by, numerous blogs have posted information where you can donate money, time, or goods to help the people in the Gulf Coast. The best link I found is here. Quite frankly, it looks like Hell on earth in New Orleans right now, and anything we can do to help, is, well, better than nothing at all.