Sunday, October 30

Friday, October 28

The Third Man

Anyone else catch this quote from Bob Weiss after Thursday night’s loss to the Clippers?

"I'm looking for a lot more balance. We need a consistent third scorer." (courtesy Seattle Times)

With less than a week to go before the start of the regular season, this isn’t the sort of quote you’d hope to hear from a team that expects to contend for the upper half of the playoffs. Even more telling, it comes a big slap in the face to one Vladimir Radmanovic, the guy who wanted $50 million, settled for $3 million, and now hopes to prove this season that he’s worth more than $50 million. Got all that? Well, here’s how the $50 million man has done, game-by-game, in the preseason:

DNP
16 min., 6 pts, 1/5 from field
17 min., 10 pts, 2/7
22 min., 8 pts., 2/5
21 min., 5 pts, 2/6
32 min., 2 pts, 1/6
19 min., 1 pt, 0/3


In a total of 127 minutes, Radman has scored the grand total of 32 points. Folks, that’s 10 points per 40 minutes, a ridiculously bad average for a guy whose function is to score.

Is it rustiness? Not likely, considering Radman spent the summer losing the European championships. Is he tired? Possibly, but he’s not going to get a chance to rest until spring, so that doesn’t do us any good, either.

No, I think Weiss is right. Radman is a maddeningly frustating player, capable of scoring 25 in 29 minutes on Tuesday, and following it up with 5 points on 2 of 12 shooting the next. Let’s all pray the good Radman decides to show up in at least 60% of Seattle’s games this year.

Tuesday, October 25

Green and Gold Tonight


Have any plans tonight? The Sonics are having their annual Green and Gold Scrimmage in Kenmore this evening. Chunk is out of town, Nussbaum is in Canada, and I'm working overtime for The Plumber this week, so we call on you, our loyal Supersonic Souljahs, to grab your digital camera and head over to the eastside tonight to give us the full scoop. If we use your story and pictures, we'll send you an official Supersonicsoul T-Shirt. Don't worry—I'll tape "My Name is Earl" for you.

Monday, October 24

Halloween


Hey kids, Halloween is inching closer, and if you haven’t grabbed your costume yet and you’re hoping to infuse your evening with green and gold, look no further!

Herewith our recommendations for the Top 5 Sonic Halloween Outfits:

1. The Danny Fortson
If you’re in the need of the costume that delivers the goods, go with Da Fort! With the way Da Fort grabs rebounds, you can only imagine how fast he can grab a Tootsie Roll! Comes with hair extensions, stomach pouch, and “rump filler.”

2. The Shawn Kemp
Nothing says b-a-d like a loaded pistol and a bag of mysterious substances. You can trick AND treat with this great costume! Plus, ask some neighbourhood kids to come with you and you’ve got your own “Kemp family posse!” Optional “rump filler” included with “Orlando Shawn” outfit.

3. The Michael Cage
There are good Halloween looks and then there are great Halloween looks. Your costume will come with a 26-oz. container of “Soul Glow” hair gel, shoulder enhancers, and lime green leisure suit. If that kid in front of you at Mrs. Johnson’s house thinks he’s getting those Kit-Kats, he better come correct, or not at all.

4. The George Karl
Finding that you’ve been struggling through the first half of your candy collecting evening? Then fire your underperforming costume and get The George Karl! Comes with imitation moustache scar, mock turtleneck, and 4-page booklet “Getting Candy the Karl Way.” Bob Kloppenburg puppet optional. Please note that costume will begin to fall apart in 2nd and 3rd year of use.

5. The Frank Brickowski
Sometimes, you’ve got to want the candy more than the other kids. With the “Brick” costume, you’ll be ready to roll to the corner of the door frame. Comes with “Pushing for Pop Rocks” booklet and faux flat top hair cut.

Friday, October 21

Powell

The Sonics have said goodbye to 6'6" rookie forward Roger Powell. Powell really never entered into any of the discussions of guys who might make the roster. Those discussions have focused instead on the Cleaves-Brunson-Scales triumverate, or, as I like to call them "CleScaBrun" (give it a try, it just rolls of the tongue).

With 4 pre-season games left (including tonight in Phoenix), the situation will have to be cleared up within a week. Noel Felix will most likely be given his papers sometime soon, but at least one of the CleScaBrun will have to go as well, and Weiss and Co. are certainly playing it close to the vest.

Thursday, October 20

Dress Up

I was thinking about writing 20 paragraphs about David Stern's misguided attempt at fashion policing, but then I read this quote from Jason Richardson of the Warriors, which summed up my entire range of emotions.

"You still wear a suit, you still could be a crook. You see all what happened with Enron and Martha Stewart. Just because you dress a certain way doesn't mean you're that way."

Look, Stern's right in that his employees are scaring a certain percentage of his customers by wearing the clothes and accessories they wear. In that same token, however, those same employees are attracting a far greater number of new fans. Furthermore, the NBA has had no problem backing advertisements, in print and on television, that accentuate the "playa" image he now seems to detest. Do I even need to mention the "street ball" games-within-a-game that permeate every NBA video game sold?

I'm sorry, but there is only one word to describe what Stern has done, and it isn't racist.

It's hypocrite.

Tuesday, October 18

Siete

Well, no matter what the Sonics did last season, you had to know the experts wouldn't be fond of them this year. And, guess what, SI's picked them to finish 7th, and 2nd in the Northwest behind mighty Denver. I guess since the Nuggets played well in the 2nd half and the Sonics played well in the first, that means Denver is better, right? I missed the memo where it was revealed that Julius Hodge can shoot with either hand from 35 feet out. Whatever.

As a side note, you've got to love SI's "Telling Number" about the Sonics. Apparently, Seattle ranked last in the league in assists last year, a telling indication the Sonics are not for real. After all, the league champ in assists was Sacramento, and we all know the Kings are much better than the Sonics, right?

Monday, October 17

Roster

Much talk in the papers (and from our more astute readers) about how Rick Brunson could be paid $1 million to hang out with Ibo Kutluay this year. Alex Scales (Go Ducks Go! #12 in the BCS, baby!) has emerged on the scene as an alternative to Brunson, and Mateen Cleaves’ deal with Satan has apparently at least one more year to go, meaning his inexplicable continuing run in the league will continue for 82 more games.

Whither Brunson, then? Here is the roster, as of today:

ALLEN
Brunson
Cleaves
COLLISON
EVANS
Felix
FORT
LEWIS
MOORE
FLIP
PETRO
POTATO
Powell
RADMAN
RIDNOUR
Scales
SWIFT
WILKINS

Those in capitals are on the roster, no matter what, and it adds up to 13 guys, the minimum roster number. However, the team is required to average 14 guys on the roster for the season, so that’s the key number to look at. (All teams are allowed to have as many as 15 on the roster at a given time). With that the case, it makes sense Seattle will keep 2 of these 3 guys: Brunson, Cleaves, Scales. I don’t think Cleaves is as much of a lock as it would appear on the surface, so it is conceivable the Sonics will keep Scales and Brunson, but Cleaves is nice insurance at the point should the Flip Murray Experiment fail miserably. To me, the best move is to say goodbye to Mateen and keep Scales and Brunson.

Friday, October 14

Game Night

Hey, the Sonics are back at the Coliseum, and while it's preseason, it's still somewhat interesting to see two of the better teams in the West go at it.

Of course, the big story is no Amare. How many wins will the Suns get this year without the big fella? Bob Weiss says there's no way they win 60 without him, and, of course, I agree. You can talk about the Canadian all you want, but Amare is and was the man for Phoenix, and with him in street clothes this team is in big trouble.

But enough about Phoenix, here's a couple of points about our guys:

1. Radman is expected to play.
2. The Potato is out again, and may miss the entire pre-season. I don't know what he did to piss the Basketball Gods off, but it must have been something big.
3. Swifty and Frenchy will get a good run again, as Mikki Moore will probably sit. Let's hope they can show some improvement over game one.

No tv, naturally, but the game is on KJR at 7:30.

Thursday, October 13

It's Go Time

Well, the season has (sort of) begun. Last night the Sonics dropped a 82-75 game to the Blazers, in a matchup that had all the intrigue of spring football practice drills. Yeah, it was Weiss v Mac-10, Allen v Kobe-Killer, and all of that, but, seriously, does anyone care? After all, can you remember how the Sonics did in the pre-season last year?

Notes to take away from the game:

  • Mr. Glass got the starting nod, but Radman was not in the lineup at all due to a left foot inflammation. Also absent were the Potato (hamstring) and Da Fort (conflict with previously scheduled Angerholics class in Renton).
  • Former Duck (whoo!) Alex Scales dropped double figures on Portland, and was the 2nd Sonic off the bench behind the Omen.
  • Mr. Glass also got to the line 6 times and hit 4 of them, hopefully a nice portent of things to come this year.
  • The Sonics got all of 5 points in transition. Nice to see that up-tempo style in action, huh?
  • Swifty got the start at center, and managed an airball with his first shot.

Tuesday, October 11

Nerd Stuff

Are you like me? Do you check this site a couple times a day, just to see if Nuss has posted any fresh screeds against Steve Nash, Brent Barry, and other "savvy" ballplayers? Like me, do you get frustrated when you load up the site, only to discover the same dumb post about Chunkstyle's adventures in fast food at the top of the site?

Like me, do you wish there was a quick way to see if anything new has been added to the site without loading up the whole gosh-darn website?

If you are like me, then congratulations, you're a dork! Moreover, your wish has been granted!

The first thing you must do is download and install Mozilla Firefox. Once you've got it running, load up this page. THEN, look for the little orange button at the bottom right corner of the Firefox window, and click on it. A little menu will pop up that reads "Subscribe to Supersonicsoul"--click on that sucker!

What that does is create a sort of uber-bookmark that you can expand to see the most recent posts to the site. Looky there--Mr. Glass is still at the top. But as soon as Webmaster Paul posts his next hi-larious bit of commentary involving Danny Fortson's backside, it will appear, like magic, at the top of the list. Clicking on it will take you directly to that post.

Ain't that a time saver?! This works with a lot of blogs. You may never visit the main page again!

... Okay, I just heard from the Webmaster. He says you should definitely visit the main page as often as possible, and what's more, click on the ads you see there. A lot.

That's it for this week's edition of Nerd Stuff. We now return you to your regularly scheduled jock talk.

-----
This site NOT sponsored by Mozilla. But, if they wanna kick in for the free iPod, I'll take one of those shiny black ones, please.

Friday, October 7

Mr. Glass

A lot of love for Reggie Evans in the Seattle papers today; both the PI and Tribune both have pieces on Mr. Glass. And while many on this site (myself included) and throughout the league have criticized Reggie for his – let’s face it – abysmal offense, Bob Weiss seems to have a good thought regarding Evans: highlight what he can do, rather than focus on what he can’t.

Weiss’ idea is to get Evans to become part of Seattle’s new “Showtime” offense (can someone help us with a new nickname? I’m not looking forward to an entire season of hearing the Sonics’ style referred to “like the 1980’s Lakers Showtime...”). In Weiss’ world, Evans would run the break, using his speed to get down the court and finish, a la Jerome Kersey.

While Weiss doesn’t explain the physics of how Reggie can be both a tenacious rebounder and one of the first guys downcourt (seriously, how do you bang on the boards with the singlemindedness of Evans then race ahead of the guys who hang out at the 3-point line?), I like the thought. No, Evans can’t shoot the 17-footer with any consistency, and he’s not smooth in the paint, and his defense is overrated, but he can rebound well and he can run. As a guy getting 15 minutes off the bench, he’s not going to hurt the Sonics.

Thursday, October 6

Omar


With training camp opening on Tuesday, the Sonics have a handful of players unfamiliar to most of us joining such stalwarts as Allen and Lewis. I’ll try to post some follow-ups as camp progesses to fill you on the rest of the unknowns:

OMAR THOMAS – 6’5”, SG, UTEP, 23 years old
Thomas is not much of a 3-point shooter, or at least he was discouraged from taking them at college. Born in Philly (he even went to the same high school as Flip Murray), Thomas overcame an incredibly difficult childhood that saw his father and two brothers imprisoned for murder. ... Averaged 20 points and nearly 7 boards per game for UTEP last year ... A strong player in the paint and a solid foul shooter, Thomas can draw fouls well for a smaller man. ... Thomas was a monster in junior college, averaging close to 35 points over the course of two seasons.

COMPARISON – Damien Wilkins, without as much D and better touch from the line. In fact, if Thomas can play any D at all, I’d rather have him than the Omen any day. It brings up an interesting side-point: How to college stats translate to the NBA? I think, to some degree, they do give us an impression of how a player will fare in the league. For example, at Georgia, Wilkins was a poor outside shooter who improved his foul shooting as his career wore on. In the NBA, Wilkins was/is a poor outside shooter who did very poorly at the line. His extended stats (e.g., steals, rebounds, etc.) also correlate somewhat from the college ranks.

That’s just a long-winded reason from me as to why the Sonics messed up in offering Wilkins a 5-year deal. Guys such as Wilkins – while talented – do not merit long-term deals, especially when there are Omar Thomases in every draft. Considering Wilkins will likely never start for the Sonics (unless Rashard Lewis is hit by a bus or leaves as a free agent), it seems foolish to me for Seattle to give him a long-term deal and thereby hinder their future financial flexibility.

Sufferin' Sonics!


"I suppose you tink dats fuddy."

The NBA preseason is about to begin, and the Sonics are already having a little deja-vu.

While it's not nearly as apocalyptic as last season's post-season injury fest, the Sonics are suffering from just about every know ailment, from turf-toe to sinus troubles (I feel your pain, Ray!)

Here's a brief injury rundown:

Danny Fortson - turf toe
Ray Allen - sinus problems (may require surgery)
Rashard Lewis - sore toe (has to wear "orthotics" in his shoe)
Mikki Moore - runner's knee
Johan Petro - chronic Frenchness

O.K., so these aren't major injuries, but at least it gives us something to bitch about!

Tuesday, October 4

Campin'

Well, the run for the ring begins today.

The Sonics kick off training camp today, and the roar surrounding the arrival of coveted free agents Rick Brunson and Mikki Moore was, well, not so much of a roar. Let’s face it, people, the Sonics have taken a page from Bum Phillips’ Book of Wisdom and are going to “dance with the one what brung you.”

Here are the 12 guys from last year’s team who got the most minutes:
Allen
Lewis
Daniels
Ridnour
Radmanovic
Collison
Fortson
James
Evans
Murray
Wilkins
Potato

Here’s what’s different:
Daniels becomes Brunson
James becomes Moore

That’s it. Yes, Collison and the Potato will play more minutes, and Reggie may or may not be on the roster (I’m betting on yes), but it ain’t a whole lot different. Petro, Swift, Cleaves, Gelabale ... heck, even Brunson and Moore don’t really make any real difference in this team’s fortunes. Forgive my initial pessimism, but considering the Sonics overachieved last year, I think it’s bit risky to not make any serious changes.

But, hey, it’s October, right? Seattle is undefeated and stands as good a chance as anyone else to win the Northwest Division. So, go Luke, go Sugar Ray, go Potato – go Sonics!

Training Camp Care Packages


"It just doesn't matter if we win or if we lose.
IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!
IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER!..."

[Think of this piece as the grayed-out side bar to Nuss' main article. --Chunky]

If we could get within 50 yards of the Furtado Center, you know the Triple-S would be serving up fresh, unfiltered, unrefined SuperSonic truth with no middle man. Restraining orders being what they are, we have no choice but to freeload off the hard work of other scribes:

Seattle Times: Percy Allen talks to Coach Weiss and Ray Allen on the eve of training camp
SUPERSONICS.COM: Kevin Pelton has a great in-depth chat with Coach Weiss about coaching philosophy and player rotations
Tacoma News Tribune: Frank Hughes talks contracts and mullets with Vlade-Dadi
Locked on Sports Blog: David Locke, as usual, comes with dirt from Sonics HQ that you can't find anywhere else.
Sports Illustrated: Columnist Marty Burns says the Supes did all right this offseason, for a team that had 9 free agents and some tight financial constraints.

Saturday, October 1

Ran Into Luke and Chewie at the Cantina

SUPERSONICSOUL Cub reporter gets all Geraldo with Frodo
in this harrowing first-person account



Me and the boys meet Luke Ridnour. My oldest was clearly disappointed that this Luke didn't have a lightsaber.


by Rafael "Chunkstyle" Calonzo
SuperSonicSoul Cub Reporter

[Note: It has been called to our attention that if the editorial staff had only been keeping an eye on the society pages of the Bellingham Daily Bugle, we would have known that the woman referred to as Mr. Ridnour's "girlfriend" in this article is, in fact, his wife. The management of this site regrets this error.

The author has since been demoted from Cub Reporter to Lil' Bear Fetus Reporter, 3rd class, and re-assigned to cover 4th grade girls field hockey. --Ed.]
So I had lunch with Luke Ridnour and Squatch at Quizno's today. Nice guys, but I had to pay for my own food.

...Ooooor something like that. The barely one-week old sandwich shop in my neighborhood was having its official grand opening celebration, complete with a radio station promo, balloons, and the chance to get the Sonics point man's autograph while waiting for your Turkey Bacon Club to emerge from the patented Quizno toastification process.

When I found out yesterday that Ridnour was going to be in the neighborhood, I have to admit that I vacillated about coming out. I came up with a zillion reasons not to go: I'm gonna look like some stupid geek/fanboy/loser/stalker (especially when I mention the website)... I'm gonna say something really stupid... How lame would I feel about going to see a SuperSonic at a local samwich joint--or worse, how lame would Ridnour feel about being a SuperSonic at a local samwich joint, and do I really want to be a part of that?

In the end I went against my tendency to be a recluse and decided to go. I talked myself into it once I realized that:
1) I totally am a geek/fanboy/loser with a website (I'm too lazy to be a stalker);
2) I can't help but say stupid stuff in my everyday life--why would today be any different? Plus, I would have to say something off-the-charts ignorant for him to even remember me, since
3) a dude like that probably gets paid to do some 300 restaurant/gas station/dry cleaner grand openings a year--shoot, if that's lame, I wish to GOD I could be that kind of lame instead of my usual kind of lame for free.

At any rate, I made sure that I dragged my family along so I didn't look like a complete basement-dwelling shut-in ("Look! I have a wife and kids! That's gotta prove I've kissed a girl!") I also guilted my brother and his son into going, especially since bro had the only unworn SSS shirt in the clan.

So we get there, and Squatch is in the somewhat bustling parking lot, clowning around and shooting free-throws on the bumper-mounted hoop of the Squatch Mobile with some kids. The line to meet Ridnour was out the door... which seemed impressive until I realized the line to order a sandwich was actually longer (hey, cats in the burbs loves them some toasty subs). He was dressed like any other dude his age might be on an overcast Seattle day: backwards hat, t-shirt over long sleeve T, jeans, sneakers. If the line hadn't led right up to his table, he easily could've been mistaken for some kid filling out a job application with a Sharpie. [NOT a diss on his appearance or youth at all--more like, I was impressed that a professional athlete could come across as such a regular guy. His "posse" consisted of his girlfriend and some Sonics PR flacks. How un-celebrity-like can you get?]

Arriving at the front of the line, I gave Ridnour a SUPERSONICSOUL t-shirt and explained that I help run a little fan website where we write dumb stuff about the team. He seemed somewhat amused by that. Then he signed my grimy Sonics hat and posed for some pictures, after which I was promptly hustled into the sandwich line.

I did manage to ask him some stupid questions later when the autograph line dwindled. I asked who he thought was the toughest guy to guard in the NBA. He said "I dunno, it's a new season... But Iverson's pretty tough."

When I asked him if he liked any of the nicknames he's been given, he said, no he doesn't know of any.

"You know, how some folks call you 'Frodo,' or 'The Disciple.'"
"The Disciple?"
"Yeah, some ESPN writer called you that."
"Huh, that's not bad."
His girlfriend giggled and offered "What about 'Lukey'?" He didn't seem to dig that one.

[Note: this hard-hitting line of questioning should put to rest any second-guessing about my decision to switch majors from journalism to art.]

As I waited for my brother to get his food (dude bailed on the whole autograph thing... chicken!), I stood back and watched as the line trickled down to almost nothing. When a few folks wandered in looking for Ridnour, they almost always walked right past him. If he wasn't signing a stack of posters for the Quizno's staff, I'm not sure how folks would've spotted him otherwise.

Later we went out and my brother and nephew shot free throws with Squatch to get free swag. Ridnour came out when his autograph hour was up and showed off his underhand freethrow skills. His lady stood nearby, clutching the SSS t-shirt in her arms.

It struck me then that he probably will never wear that shirt. At best, maybe he'll buff his Hummer with it. I was okay with that. I was comforted with the thought that, someday, when he's polishing up the chromed-out frame around his 'DISCIPL' vanity plate, perhaps he'll see the URL, remember that dorky guy at the Quizno's with his kids, and maybe, just maybe visit the site on his Sidekick or Blackberry out of curiosity.

Maybe then he can read this post, and in the unlikely event that he reads 'til the end, he may answer the one burning question I meant to ask but only remembered after we left:

"Hey Luke, you gonna grow out your fro again?"

Photos: Carrie "Croppin'" Calonzo, Ravenal "Baby Deer" Calonzo