Wednesday, August 22

8 Reasons

There is no uncertainty surrounding the Sonics' performance this season. In years past, there has been an unknown element to what will be as summer wound its way into fall - a cloud of mystery that has clung to this franchise like an unwelcome guest on a three-day weekend.

But that cloud has lifted. This is not to say that the cloud has been replaced by sunshine - far from it. It is much more likely that the Sonics will win fewer than 30 games than greater than 40, and the odds of the Sonics reaching the playoffs in the spring of 2008 are practically nil.

All of which makes the upcoming season all the more intriguing. For the first time in my life, I've purchased tickets in advance, a partial package of games that ensures I can watch what will likely be the worst team in Seattle basketball history (non-Seattle U. division; sorry, Chunk). Kevin Durant was probably 75% of that decision, but there is more to it than that.

There is something about this franchise now, something that hasn't been there since Shawn Kemp was traded away, a sense of optimism. It's ironic that this optimism has blossomed from the waste laid by Clay Bennett and Aubrey McClendon, but it is true nonetheless - Sonic fans are excited about their team. If one can close one's eyes to the arena saga and imagine a world where the universe ends at the edge of a basketball court, then it is truly a great time to be a Seattle SuperSonics fan.

It's early, I know, but here are 8 reasons why I'm excited about the Sonics this year. Feel free to add yours.

1. Kevin Durant. A 6'10" shooting guard with the wingspan of a condor who can dunk, rain 3's, block shots, and a motor that runs at only one speed, high? I think I can get on board with that.

2. Delonte West. Call me crazy, but as each day passes I like Delonte West even more. I linked to a youtube clip yesterday, but there are a dozen other funny clips of the guy. And that's not even mentioning his aggressive defense. Guys like Delonte have character, and character is something this team has been in sore need of for a long, long time.

3. Robert Swift. I know, he's never done anything in the NBA, but he's transformed himself from a wafer-thin high schooler to a guy who can push back against the biggest centers in the league. Maybe he'll be a bust, maybe he won't, but look at it this way: Robert Swift is younger than Brandon Roy, JJ Redick, and LaMarcus Aldridge. I think he's still got a shot.

4. Sam Presti. I'll go to my grave insisting that Tim Duncan means more to the Spurs' success than any ethereal "culture," but even a crab like me has to admit that Presti has made more good moves in three months than the previous GMs in Seattle made in ten years. We're all drinking the kool-aid, Sam, so pass me another glass.

5. Jeff Green. I went out on a limb a couple of weeks ago and wondered if Jeff Green could be this generation's Nate McMillan. Heady praise for a guy who has yet to play a game in the league, but watching him in the summer league got me excited to root for a player who cares more about winning than posting stats.

6. Kurt Thomas. What's not to like about Kurt Thomas? He's big, he pushes people around, and he's got an expiring contract. Love, love, love.

7 and 8. OJ Mayo and Derrick Rose. If the Sonics really are as bad as they could be, the Ridnour/Watson debate will resolve itself quite nicely next June.

15 comments:

AK1984 said...

The following is my top-ten rankings for the 2008 NBA Draft.

1. PG Derrick Rose (6'4" 200lbs.) {Memphis} [Fr.]

I compare Rose to Gary Payton.

2. SG/PG O.J. Mayo (6'5" 210lbs.) {Southern California} [Fr.]

I compare Mayo to Gilbert Arenas.

3. PF/SF Michael Beasley (6'9" 235lbs) {Kansas State} [Fr.]

I compare Beasley to a hybrid of Antawn Jamison and Carmelo Anthony.

4. PF Kevin Love (6'9" 260lbs.) {UCLA} [Fr.]

I compare Love to a hybrid of Bill Walton and Kevin McHale.

5. SF/SG Chase Budinger (6'7" 190lbs.) {Arizona} [So.]

I compare Budinger to Brent Barry.

6. SG Eric Gordon (6'4" 220lbs.) {Indiana} [Fr.]

I compare Gordon to Ben Gordon.

7. PF Darrell Arthur (6'9" 230lbs.) [So.]

I compare Arthur to Stromile Swift.

8. SF/SG Nicolas Batum (6'8" 210lbs.) {France} [Int.]

I compare Batum to Mickael Pietrus.

9. C Roy Hibbert (7'2" 275lbs) {Georgetown} [Sr.]

I compare Hibbert to Brendan Haywood.

10. PG Darren Collison (6'1" 170lbs.) [Jr.]

I compare Collison to Earl Watson.

With that noted, Derrick Rose would easily be the best fit with the Seattle Supersonics come 2008-2009. As an unselfish point guard who goes all-out by playing tenacious perimeter defense, Rose should be able to quickly assimilate alongside the offensive powerhouse, Kevin Durant, in the backcourt.

Beyond Rose, though, none of those aforementioned guys are the missing piece to the puzzle—including egotistically self-centered combo guard O.J. Mayo.

Chris Brummel said...

Does no one else think that OJ Mayo is complete poison? He's clearly going to be good, but until he shows signs of growing up, I'm worried about taking on a spoiled ego like his. If we're building a team of "good guys", then he'd be the opposite direction (from what I've seen and read).

AK1984 said...

Notwithstanding the anticipation of those eight things that are mentioned within Pete's article, why isn't Sam Presti actively shopping Wally "Zoolander" Szczerbiak?

Hell, here's a relatively realistic trade proposal that would ship that defensively inept, vastly overpaid, and frequently injured bum for a slew of third-string scrubs.

FROM NEW YORK & TO SEATTLE
PF Malik Rose ($7,101,250)
SG Fred Jones ($3,300,000)
PG Dan Dickau ($2,800,000)

FROM SEATTLE & TO NEW YORK
SF Wally Szczerbiak ($12,000,000)

http://realgm.com/src_checktrade.php?tradeid=4189998

That transaction, in conjuction with a deal whereby Earl Watson ($5,800,000) and Damien Wilkins ($2,900,000) are dealt from the Seattle Supersonics to the Miami Heat for Jason Williams ($8,937,500), would consolidate and rebalance the roster -- as well as shed some excess salary from the team's payroll following the 2007-2008 season -- which is something that should be on the top of Presti's list.

Lastly, I've altered my stance regarding Chris Wilcox and Luke Ridnour—which is 'cause of another poster's rational expostulation. Rather than trade them to the Washington Wizards for Antonio Daniels and Brendan Haywood, it's seemingly more prudent for Presti to refrain from making such a move 'til at least mid-season.

Good Times,
AK1984

P.S.: Well, Chris B., I'm also averse to Presti selecting O.J. Mayo in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Bob said...

Comparing Batum to Pietrus is not good.

Not the same style at all : Batum has a higher Basketball IQ and way better all around skills.

I would say that he is a more athletic Boris Diaw with a better shot.

TheBigO said...

"FROM NEW YORK & TO SEATTLE
PF Malik Rose ($7,101,250)
SG Fred Jones ($3,300,000)
PG Dan Dickau ($2,800,000)

FROM SEATTLE & TO NEW YORK
SF Wally Szczerbiak ($12,000,000)"

What the fuck AK?? Dude you are out of your mind man. Why trade one scrub for three? Just for salary issues, you just really want to see dickau and his mediocre cheerleader wife don't you? You're not going to be ablE to seduce him away from her no matter how many reach arounds you offer him. LET. IT. GO!!!

AK1984 said...

"Comparing Batum to Pietrus is not good.

Not the same style at all : Batum has a higher Basketball IQ and way better all around skills.

I would say that he is a more athletic Boris Diaw with a better shot.
"

Most NBA players are more athletic and have a better shot than Boris Diaw, who's been overrated ever since his aberration of a season in 2005-2006. During this upcoming season, I predict that Grant Hill will cut heavily into Diaw's minutes with the Phoenix Suns.

Regarding Diaw's skill set, he's a high-post facilitator who's tailor-made to play point forward; that makes him a unique talent in the NBA. In fact, Julian Wright was the only player selected throughout the 2007 NBA Draft who even closely resembled Diaw.

After watching a couple of YouTube videos featuring Nicolas Batum, I'll concede that he's apparently a better ball-handler, creator, and jump shooter on offense than Mickael Pietrus; thus, his upside is probably closer to one of Pietrus' former teammates on the Golden State Warriors—with that being Jason Richardson.

"What the fuck AK?? Dude you are out of your mind man. Why trade one scrub for three? Just for salary issues, you just really want to see dickau and his mediocre cheerleader wife don't you? You're not going to be ablE to seduce him away from her no matter how many reach arounds you offer him. LET. IT. GO!!!"

Obviously, I want Wally Szczerbiak traded elsewhere for not only financial reasons, but also because he's a slow-footed stiff who can't play a lick of defense.

Nevertheless, not one single straight guy -- or lesbian, for that matter -- would pass on a chance to, well, get it on with Heather Dickau.

http://tinyurl.com/5m59u

There's no denyin' it!

Anonymous said...

"Guys like Delonte have character, and character is something this team has been in sore need of for a long, long time."



you mean since GP left?
oh ya and The Space Cowboy too.

now only if Wilcox could develop a personality.(i love weezy) lol

ryan said...

What about Jerome James? He had personality for miles ....

mcwalter44 said...

AK, when posting a trade proposal, could you also let us know who you'd cut off the 15 man roster to make room for any extra players. Also, I think having Wally around isn't great, but it's better than Dickau, Jones and Rose. Plus, Isiah wouldn't do this deal in the off-season. He'd only do it if Wally some how started off the season hot and got some hype behind him.

AK1984 said...

"AK, when posting a trade proposal, could you also let us know who you'd cut off the 15 man roster to make room for any extra players. Also, I think having Wally around isn't great, but it's better than Dickau, Jones and Rose. Plus, Isiah wouldn't do this deal in the off-season. He'd only do it if Wally some how started off the season hot and got some hype behind him."

Knowing Isiah Thomas, Wally Szczerbiak's past achievements might be enough of an enticement.

Anyway, Johan Petro could be added to the above trade proposal, as that'd put the roster at 15 players. Of course, sending Earl Watson and Damien Wilkins to the Miami Heat for Jason Williams would also accomplish that feat.

Anonymous said...

i'm stoked about my man doctor hibbert. we need him next year. we must do WHATEVER IT TAKES to acquire the doc.

Nuss said...

I think the Sonics already have enough offensively-challenged big men already, thank you. Hibbert's so slow they time him with a sundial.

mcwalter44 said...

"Hibbert's so slow they time him with a sundial."

Nuss - I just about fell out of my chair reading that. Nice one!!!

=LOSER said...

Hibbert's so slow they time him with a sundial."

Nuss - I just about fell out of my chair reading that. Nice one!!!

8/23/2007 4:37 PM


-stole the words right out of my mouth. Best comeback I've heard all week. thank you for that.

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