Monday, July 30
I think there’s a pretty broad consensus out there that young Kevin Durant will lead Seattle in scoring this season. It got me to wondering: When was the last time a rookie led the Sonics in points per game?
Well, it’s been a long time. Xavier McDaniel was close, leading the team in overall points in 1985-86, but falling short of Tommy Chambers in ppg (And as an aside: How does a team with Chambers, the X-Man, and Jack Sikma win all of 31 games and miss the playoffs?).
No, you have to go back to 1970-71, when Spencer Haywood, a 21-year-old import from the ABA, played 33 games and averaged 20.6 ppg, besting Lenny Wilkens for tops on the team. Even then, it’s a bit of a stretch, considering Haywood played in fewer than half of the team’s games, not to mention that he played the year before for Denver with the red, white and blue ball. If you go by league rules for determining a scoring champ, then Haywood doesn’t qualify either.
So there you go. Through seven presidential administrations, the creation of the Mariners and Seahawks, the building and demolition of the Kingdome, seven James Bonds, and the emergence, disappearance, and re-birth of bell-bottoms, the Sonics have existed for 41 years without having a rookie lead them in scoring. Until now.
We’re in uncharted waters here, folks.
Posted by PN at 10:02 AM