Friday, August 17
Big, Red and Scary: The Return of Robert Swift
Apparently through hours of weight-lifting and high-level doses of AC-DC, Swift has transformed himself from a painfully awkward nerd, blessed only with the gift of freakish height, to a 280-pound, tattooed bad-ass that could make the Undertaker soil his tights.
So the re-birth of the Great White Hope should pretty much guarantee the Sonics a playoff spot next year, right?
After all, according to former Sonics coach Bob Hill and others, the absence of "Continental Drift" Swift from the line-up last year doomed the team from the start, and was the single biggest reason for the abyss of awfulness that was the 2006-2007 season.
While the glimpse of potential we saw at the end of '05-'06 was intriguing, last year's team needed a lot more than Rich King on steroids to save it. They had two mediocre point guards who spent most of the season bitching and sniping like rejects from America's Top Model. They had the Invisible Man looking like Spencer Haywood one night, then disappearing into the mist the next. The lone highlight was a one-dimensional superstar (but what a dimension it was!) who could pile up points but had the defensive strength of a girl scout cookie.
But Robert Swift would have put them in the playoffs!
And what if he did? What if the Big Red Wall could have been the difference on defense that the Sonics desperately needed last year? What if it helped raise the team from pathetic to passable, launching the Sonics into a respectable first round loss in the playoffs? What would the Sonics have gained? Or, more importantly, what would they have lost?
How about Kevin Durant?
As painful as last season was, it did help set the team up for perhaps their greatest draft pick ever. A lanky superstar who could shoot like Ray Allen, block shots like Shawn Kemp, and play with the passion of Gary Payton. The Über-Sonic.
And if Swift had played last year, Durant might be in Atlanta.
Swifty could very well help the Sonics make the playoffs this season, but for his non-play last year, he might be the ultimate MVP.