On Tuesday, the sale of the team to Oklahoma mogul Clay Bennett became official, clearing the way for a potential move to Okie-ville. The next day, starting center Robert Swift went down with a season-ending knee injury. This morning, it was annonced that team president Wally Walker was stepping down.
Well, I guess it wasn't all bad news.
A lot of Sonics fans have given Wally Walker the shaft over the years, blaming him for the decline of the team. To be fair, I thought we'd take a look at what Wal-Walk has accomplished during his tenure as Player, GM and CEO of the Seattle Supersonics:
1979 - Waves towel on bench as the Seattle Supersonics win the NBA Championship. Hooray!
1982 - The Sonics trade Walker to the Houston Rockets for a second round pick. Hooray!
1994 - Walker rejoins the Sonics, replacing "Trader" Bob Whitsitt as General Manager despite having zero front office experience.
1996 - The Sonics make the NBA Finals! Walker cracks open the champagne as Bob Whitsitt, who hired the coach, drafted Kemp and Payton, and traded for Detlef and Sam Perkins, sits alone and cries.
1997 - Walker signs Jim Macllvaine to to a seven-year, $33.6 million contract. The Reign Man is pissed.
1998 - Walker trades Shawn Kemp for Vin Baker, instantly killing both players' careers. Oops.
1998 - Despite leading the team to the playoffs every season (including the '96 Finals) and winning 61 games in '98, Walker refuses to re-sign coach George Karl and instead replaces him with golf buddy Paul Westphal. Westphal would last less than two seasons.
1999-2001 - Team officially sucks.
2001 - Walker convinces Starbucks CEO Howie Shultz to buy the team. Also convinces Shultz to appoint him team President. Walker quickly hires Rick Sund as GM, but still claims to be "responsible for everything".
2004 - Nate McMillan leads a rag-tag team (put together by Rick Sund) back into the playoffs! Hooray!
2005 - Walker, er, Sund refuses to re-sign McMillan and several key players from 2004 Cinderella squad. Team officially sucks again.
2006 - Walker arranges for Clay "Big Boy" Bennett to purchase team, forgetting that Bennett is hell-bent on bringing an NBA team to Oklahoma City. Whoops.
Today - Having finally accomplished his dream of completely gutting a proud sports team and selling it down the river, Walker resigns from the SuperSonics.
You see? He did accomplish something! Farewll, sweet Wally--may your replacement be as ridicule worthy as you.
Read Nussbaum's in-depth look at the Wally Years here.