Friday, October 27

The End of Wally World

Former Seattle SuperSonics CEO Wally WalkerIt's been a tough week for Sonics fans.

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.

11 comments:

ryan said...

Are you guys on crack over there or what? You go from no practically no articles all summer to like 12 a day now.

Not that I'm complaining, as it's given me something to read while I'm waiting for my porn to download, but I'm just curious where all the energy is coming from.

Oh, and Wally sucks. Good call on that one.

jason said...

Where did you find that picture of Wally? Man, that has got to be the most grisly thing I've seen since Nick Nolte's mug shot...

My two cents: Walker was neither as bad as his accusers make him out to be nor as good as his defenders say. He's - apparently - a nice guy who loves the Sonics and SEattle, but he's also a guy who made terrible decisions, alienated his fanbase, and paved the way for out-of-town owners to potentially move the team.

Paul Merrill said...

The reason we didn't write much during the summer is that NOTHING HAPPENS DURING THE SUMMER. Also, we were drunk.

We will be writing a lot more for now on, so check back often. Also, rumor has it a brand new "Danny Fortson: Cyborg Hunter" is on the way.

P.S. I totally did not steal this Wally article from Nussbaum (see his below). We just happen to share the same brain on occasion.

Pete Nussbaum said...

Speaking of the brain, I have to do some math this afternoon, so I'm going to need it back.

chunkstyle23 said...

Nice analysis, there, Paulie. That doesn't get you off the hook of writing the next comic, though.

Paul Merrill said...

I'm working on it! Who should Fortson kill this issue?

ryan said...

Seems obvious to me that Fortson's got his hands all over this Robert Swift thing. Here's the proof:

1. What does want Fortson want? More playing time.
2. What has to happen for more playing time? Someone else gets hurt.
3. What happened? Robert Swift got hurt.
4. Where does Danny Fortson hang out? The sidelines.
5. Where did Robert Swift get hurt? The sidelines.

Seriously, it doesn't take Oliver Stone to do the math here, guys. I suggest you get in on the ground floor on this controversy before John Stossel shows up and smokes your asses with some in-your-face investigations. Give me a break, bee-yotch!

ryan said...

FYI - Danny Fortson got suspended today for a flagrant foul on Ron Artest.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/basketball/nba/specials/preview/2006/10/27/fortson.sonics.ap/index.html

The more things change, ...

AK1984 said...

Jim McIlvaine, as is shown via the photo within the following link, loves Wally Walker.

http://tinyurl.com/yyhela

nuss said...

That picture is so painful in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

im going to watch the sonics still, but its hard to give a f--- when sonics will im sure be gone whenever