Wednesday, November 28

Seattle under suicide watch as Sonics lose again.

I'm too depressed to write about it. I'll let Yahoo! fill you in on the gruesome details:
Rookie Kevin Durant had 25 points for Seattle, 12 of them in the final 6:05. But it wasn't enough to overcome a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit.

"They made it closer than I thought they were going to," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "I didn't like the way we finished up. We had a 15-point lead, then we were wandering around defensively and started doing some things I didn't like. It's the sign of a young team that's still unbridled and still undisciplined. I'm not happy with that game, but it was a win."

The Sonics are a league-worst 2-13 in their first season under coach P.J. Carlesimo -- matching the poorest start in franchise history. They began their inaugural 1967-68 season 2-14 under Al Bianchi. Seattle has lost 14 consecutive games against Western Conference teams, including five last season.

Read the rest (if you dare) here.

Wednesday, November 21

Sonics Drinking Game

Our pals at the Seattle Weekly have come up with the ultimate Sonics Drinking Game. My liver will hate me in the morning. (Thanks to Chunkstyle for the tip!)

Tuesday, November 20

Another Blowout Loss

The Memphis Grizzlies have three wins this season.

Two of them are against the Sonics.

In their continuing role as a cold and flu remedy for the bug-ridden members of the NBA, the Sonics got pummeled 125-108 in Memphis on Monday night. Delonte West led the Supes with 17 points, but 14 of those came in the 4th quarter when the game was far out of reach. The Grizzlies' guard tandems of Damon Stoudamire, Kyle Lowry, and Juan Carlos Navarro were too fast, too good, and too much for Earl Watson and West, and when you add in the Sonics lack of an interior presence, it was over before it started.

Thankfully, it's only one game. Unfortunately, the Sonics are now 2-10, and the flight home from Memphis must have been a doozy.

On a side note, last night's affair was graced with the presence of 10,863 Grizzly fans. Remind me again why it is the Sonics who are the poster child for the ills of this league?

Monday, November 19


I found this story from TNT's Eric Williams an interesting read.

Williams quotes PJ Carlesimo at length regarding the latitude he is providing Jeff Green and Kevin Durant on offense, not to mention the rest of the team. Carlesimo explains his free-handed reign by referencing the way in which Tony Parker was allowed to run the offense his rookie season in San Antonio in spite of the numerous mistakes he often made.

What made me curious was the complete lack of laissez faire attitude when it comes to one Mo Sene. Sene, now in his second season in Seattle, has failed to take off his warm-up jacket in 9 of the Sonics first 11 games.

Now, I'm not going to say that Sene is a brilliant young player who is being buried on the Sonics' bench. He is, however, 21 years old, 6'11", strong, and with long arms. If PJ is willing to abide the mistakes of Green and Durant, why not Sene?

Inasmuch as the Sonics are writing off this season for rebuilding, would it kill them to play last year's first-round pick, oh, I don't know, maybe once a week? How is benching him for the entirety of the season helping him develop? Is Sam Presti working on a trade proposal with another club desperate to pay someone $1 million a year to sit on the bench? Does Sene have work visa issues with the State of Washington which preclude him from working within the state lines? Because after 11 games this year, he has yet to play at KeyArena.

Hey, this season isn't about the playoffs, we understand. But considering that Sene has the possibility of being a decent back-up center in this league, if for defensive purposes only, why can't we give the kid a chance? Are you telling me that he can't fill an Olden Polynice-type role in the future?

It's all well and good to say you're giving players "their freedom," when the players in question are Kevin Durant and Jeff Green, but how about extending that freedom to some of the other guys on the roster?

Friday, November 16

Falling, Falling

If you’re looking for a silver lining in a Sonic season covered in mud, here it is.

Last night, my alma mater, the University of Oregon, the #2 ranked team in the nation, a team on the verge of combining a national championship game with a Heisman Trophy in a single, glorious season, lost all of it in the span of 10 seconds.

It’s one thing for Ohio State, USC, LSU, or any of the other perennial powerhouses to blow their shot at a national title. After all, those schools are borderline professional football teams, and their chance at a championship comes annually. Likewise, Heisman Trophies grow like weeds in an untended garden for those lucky universities.

For Oregon, these opportunities come once a century, and Dennis Dixon’s injured knee in the first quarter of a game the Ducks were dominating ended it all. We – as fans – fell from the heights of the Rose or Sugar Bowls to the depths of the Holiday Bowl in moments. It was a dizzying plunge.

So, here’s your silver lining, Sonic fans. As fans of a team with no shot at anything this year, we have nowhere to fall. With an ownership and a league hell-bent on taking our team and with a roster riddled with questions, rehabs, and inadequacies, we have nowhere to go but up.

Remember the pain in your stomach we all felt when the Sonics would annually lose in the first round, the tension you’d get as the Sonics fell behind 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, then the urge to vomit after they lost a series they should have won?

Well, that pain is gone now, and there’s no chance of it this year. As bad as rooting for a 1-8 team is, and it is bad, perhaps it’s not as painful as rooting for a team which disappoints you.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself this morning.

Thursday, November 15

Ah, Bud

This has nothing to do with the Sonics or the NBA, but, well, it's our blog, so you'll just have to indulge me.
At the precise moment I looked at Sports Illustrated's home page with a massive photo of Barry Bonds and the associated story on his indictment, there was a story with this headline located immediately to the right of the photo:

"Selig: Baseball's revenue tops $6 billion mark"

Folks, if you can't see the arrow joining those two stories together, well, you're just not trying. Say what you want about Bonds, McGwire, and Sosa, but those three gentlemen have one hell of a lot more to do with the present fiscal health of major league baseball than Bud Selig, and everyone in baseball knows it.
Either baseball and the press were derelict in their duties and knew nothing about the steroid situation many years ago, or their hands are now covered with so much blood they're having trouble endorsing their (sizable) checks.

Seen & Heard

I haven't been keeping up with rumors about Sonic players and trades lately, simply because it's hard enough to keep up with all the losses.

But I found a couple of rumors out there that were of passing interest.

1. Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald in Chicago writes: "So this is all a pipe dream, but a player such as Seattle's Wally Szczerbiak would look good atop the Bulls' wish list. Last week, he scored 32 points and hit 12 of 16 shots in a game at Sacramento. But Szczerbiak has little future with the rebuilding Sonics. He played nine minutes in a loss to Utah three days later.
The bad news is Szczerbiak makes $12 million this season and $13 million next season. He'll be an attractive mid-level exception candidate, but not until 2009."

2. John Denton of the Florida Today writes: "Some power forwards or centers who the Magic might have interest in trading for include: Michael Doleac, Mark Madsen, Wayne Simien, Robert Swift, Saer Sene, Calvin Booth, Lorenzen Wright, Earl Barron, Melvin Ely, Johan Petro, Jarron Collins, Aaron Williams and Brian Skinner."

Yikes, that's one scary list, and further reinforces the notion that if you have a young son, you should be strapping his legs to a stretching apparturs every night. Because, quite clearly, no matter how bad you are, if you are 7' tall, there will always be a job for you.


Finally, the Sonics grabbed a win. I never thought I’d be happy with a 1-8 record, but, well, when the alternative is 0-9, I suppose happy is the way to be.

Unfortunately, it appears Luke Ridnour is out for two to four weeks. In a way, it helps Carlesimo by reducing his options at the point, but the way Earl Watson has shot the ball this year, it really reduces his options to one (Delonte West). Luckily, West offset Watson last night in Miami (Watson: -1, West: +9; seriously, how bad do you have to play to finish at -1 as the starting point guard when your team wins by 9?).

In any event, it’ll be Watson and West for the next month or so, and Gary Washburn muses in the PI that it’s possible the Sonics will look to add a temporary body while Ridnour recovers.

“Paging Mateen Cleaves, Mateen Cleaves please answer the white courtesy phone ...”

But before we get to fat and happy with last night’s win, remember that:

- The Sonics were outscored 54-43 in the second half
- The Sonics had 16 turnovers and 14 fouls in the second half

Those are discouraging signs, and, maybe I’m crazy, but it seems to be that the only reason the Sonics didn’t blow a lead as they had so many times this season was twofold:

1. The lead was too big
2. The Heat are just too lousy

Whatever the case, the credit for last night’s win has to go to Chris Wilcox, who finished at +24 on the night. and Nick Collison, who scored five of Seattle’s 11 in an 11-0 run to start the fourth quarter, throwing in four rebounds and an assist for good measure.

(And kudos to Percy Allen for getting Chris Wilcox to comment on the mystery of being left off the all-star ballot. Somebody at the NBA office has some explaining to do why Wilcox is off and people like Wally Szczerbiak, Luis Scola, and Luke Walton are in).

Wednesday, November 14

Clash of the Not So Titans

Tonight's affair in Miami is sure to be one of the ugliest in recent memories. Two teams, one win between them, it's not exactly something that NBA TV is cuing up to record for posterity.

In Miami's lone win, they only managed to score 75 in a 3-point "win" over the hapless Knicks. In that game, the Heat shot 28% from beyond the arc, 55% from the line, and yet still came out of NYC with a victory. It will take that same kind of effort for Miami to knock off the even more hapless Sonics.

How bad are these two teams? So bad that the networks will have to run a parental advisory graphic before the game starts so that young children won't mistakenly view it. So bad that neither team is likely to crack 100 points, this despite the fact the Sonics' defense is indefensible.

Stop me, I'm starting to sound like Steve Kelley.

Really. I am.

In happier news, JA Adande of has a nice read about why the NBA should consider moving the Hornets to OKC and leave the Sonics the hell alone. It's walking on thin ice to suggest that sort of thing because of Katrina, but his argument has merit.

Pick for tonight: Heat 89-Sonics 83. Eyes gauged from Coral Gables to Puyallup.

Making a Fresh Start

I started thinking about the effect this 0-8 start would have on Kevin Durant. It can’t be easy starting your professional career with 8 losses, can it? Is he moping around his apartment, calling his friends back in Austin, watching NBA highlights to see what the other first-rounders are doing this year? Maybe watching old videos on YouTube of when he was on the winning team?

It all got me to thinking, though, how have the other top picks in the NBA draft fared in their first ten games? (And, yes, I am aware that Greg Oden was the top pick, but since he’s not playing, I consider Durant the top overall pick for this year). Since those folks were probably on lousy teams, hence the high draft choice, did they struggle as badly as Durant's Sonics? Well, here’s the list, from 1980 to the present.

First 10 games of top overall picks in the NBA draft:

2006: Andrea Bargnani, 2-8
2005: Andrew Bogut, 6-4
2004: Dwight Howard, 6-4
2003: LeBron James, 3-7
2002: Yao Ming, 6-4
2001: Kwame Brown, 2-8
2000: Kenyon Martin, 6-4
1999: Elton Brand, 1-9 (started year 0-5)
1998: Michael Olowokandi, 0-10 (started year 0-17!)
1997: Tim Duncan, 7-3
1996: Allen Iverson, 4-6
1995: Joe Smith, 3-7
1994: Glenn Robinson, 5-5
1993: Chris Webber, 4-6
1992: Shaquille O’Neal, 7-3
1991: Larry Johnson, 2-8
1990: Derrick Coleman, 2-8
1989: Pervis Ellison, 3-7
1988: Danny Manning, 4-6
1987: Armon Gilliam, 4-6
1986: Brad Daugherty, 3-7
1985: Patrick Ewing, 2-8
1984: Hakeem Olajuwon, 8-2
1983: Ralph Sampson, 3-7
1982: James Worthy, 7-3
1981: Mark Aguirre, 1-9
1980: Joe Barry Carroll, 6-4

The breakdown is as follows:
8 wins: 1 (Olajuwon)
7 wins: 3 (O’Neal, Duncan)
6 wins: 5
5 wins: 1
4 wins: 4
3 wins: 5
2 wins: 5
1 win: 2
0 wins: 1

Sadly, the one “no win” contender is also the biggest bust of the past two decades, Olowokandi. However, Elton Brand has fared just fine, thank you, despite the 1-9 start to his career, and Mark Aguirre was no bust, either. Of note, the three best finishes belonged to the three best players (Hakeem, Shaq, and Duncan). Unless, of course, you consider Joe Barry Carroll the best, in which case you must be a former Golden State Warriors executive, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Does it mean anything? Probably not, but just thought I’d throw it out there.

Did You Know?

Here's some trivia for you. PJ Carlesimo's last attempt at "guiding" an NBA team came in 1999, when the Warriors canned the bearded one after 27 games.

Did you know? The Warriors started out the year 2-16, and that woeful start included an 11-game losing streak? Which means that in the last 35 games PJ has coached he's won the grand total of six?

Yeah, I'm not too excited about the rest of the season, either. But at least when PJ tells the guys in the lockerroom, "Hey, it could be worse," he knows from which he speaks.

Eight is Enough

In the popcorn machine of life, last night's loss to the Orlando Magic was a entire bag full of duds.

The Sonics put on their worst display of the season in the first game of a five-game road trip that has gotten ugly almost before it has started. While it wasn't the worst game in Orlando in team history (you'll recall the game of two years ago when 3 or 4 guys got food poisoning and only 7 or 8 players dressed), it was plenty bad enough. To wit:

- Kevin Durant: As many turnovers (4) as field goals made

- 3 Point Guards: Combined 3 of 19 from the field (!)

- Team: 2 of 10 from 3-point range

- Kurt Thomas: 4 fouls, 4 points

I could go on, but there's no point. Even Magic fans aren't celebrating this one: "It's not that we played well enough to win this game, but rather that Seattle played horridly enough to lose it." (courtesy of Third Quarter Collapse's Ben Q Rock).

Tuesday, November 13


With Seattle taking on long-time Sonic Rashard Lewis tonight, it made me think of other events in the team’s history. Here’s a quick recap of how three legendary Sonics fared in their first games against their former team:

January 2, 2004 – Gary Payton
Payton was dealt to the Bucks in Feb. of 2003, and in a bizarre twist of fate was a member of the Bucks when they played the Sonics the next day (or was it the same day?). In any event, GP wasn’t eligible for that game, and his return had to wait until 2004, when the Sonics played the Lakers in Seattle. The Glove didn’t disappoint, rattling off a 24-5-5 effort. However, Ray Allen’s 35 points were enough to power the Sonics to a 111-109 win at the Key.

January 8, 1998 – Shawn Kemp
Kemp’s first game against the Sonics came in Cleveland, and his 9 points were a disappointment to him, I’m sure, as was the 109-84 beatdown the Sonics put on the Cavs. However, Kemp still outscored Jim McIlvaine 9-0.

February 11, 2003 – Vin Baker
You might have missed this one, but Boston’s bizarre 82-76 win against the Sonics in Seattle featured 9 points from Vinny, as well as a 7 (!) point third quarter from the victorious Celtics. An ugly game befitting Baker’s ugly tenure and departure from Seattle.

Yeah, I've Heard of Him

Not sure if you've heard, but the Sonics are taking on Rashard Lewis and the Magic tonight. As you would expect, the old Sonic vs new Sonic angle is the one employed by the beat writers.

Lewis is living the high life for now, and the Sonics are, well, not exactly doing so great. 0-7 and off to the worst start in the franchise's history, Rashard must be thinking he made exactly the right decision. Add in Ray Allen's start with Boston, and the two former Sonic stars are a combined 10-2 this season. I'm guessing the Sonics will reach that 10-win plateau some time around Valentine's Day. At least, I hope so.

In other news, Eric Williams reports that Bob Swift is back on the injured list due to tendinitis in his right knee. As Williams points out, this is not entirely unexpected. On the positive side, Kurt Thomas looked just fine in Sunday's loss to the Pistons, putting up 10 points and 7 boards in fewer than 20 minutes of action.

As a side note to Sunday's loss, all five starters racked up negative +/- numbers, while all five bench players racked up positive ones. Of note, Earl Watson earned a DNP, with no injuries that I could find out about. Amazing how the point guard rotation has gone thus far, and you've got to wonder how long it's going to take for one of the three amigos to be dealt.

Monday, November 12


It's difficult for civilians to appreciate the horrors of war, even moreso when those horrors occured nearly 100 years ago. Just as most of us can't fathom the work that goes into being a professional athlete, for those who haven't seen a gun aimed at them, or seen a man with half of his body blown off, it is impossible to comprehend what a soldier goes through.

So, today is a day to try and show some empathy to those soldiers. Veterans Day, or Remembrance Day as it is known in Canada, was never about honoring generals or sergeants or presidents, it was about honoring the privates that were forced to endure unspeakable conditions for the sake of wars they had little or no understanding.

I find that in reading books about World War I, it becomes difficult after awhile to digest the numbers. 1,000,000 men killed in this year, 300,000 at this battle, and so on. It just is too much to take, to comprehend. So perhaps if I single out one battle, one day, we, as fans of basketball, might be able to understand it a little bit better.

On July 1, 1916, the British army attempted to break through the line of German defenses along the River Somme in France. It was a controversial decision made by Britain's General Doug Haig, and a costly one. By the end of that first day of fighting, 20,000 men had been killed.

Think about what 20,000 men means. In the entire history of the NBA, if you added up all the players who donned a uniform, you wouldn't get to 20,000. Not even close.

Which means that the equivalent of every player, from Steve Nash to Oscar Robertson, from Shaquille O'Neal to George Mikan, was killed in the span of one day. The equivalent to the entire history of this great and wonderful league disappeared by the time the sun had set. Those men were as beloved to their families as the NBA players are to theirs, their lives meant as much as any NBA players did, and they all died in within 24 hours.

And, on the whole, the Battle of the Somme pales in comparison to other tragedies in World War I, such as Verdun, where the French gave so many lives entire armies were wiped out, or the Eastern Front, where Russians died by the millions.

Don't misunderstand me; war is an unspeakable obscenity on the face of mankind. Two-thirds of the men who died in WWI died for little or no reason, forced into battle by idiot generals who cared more about gaining 150 yards of territory than the lives of the men they commanded. And the same goes for most battles in most wars. War is never just, only deadly. We honor today not those who ordered men into war, but those who had to carry out those orders.

So, in the midst of a miserable season for fans of Sonic basketball, allow your thoughts to drift, for just one day, to what happened 90 years ago on some fields in France and Belgium. Yes, the situation in Seattle this year is lousy, but, quite honestly, it's really not that important, now is it.

Friday, November 9

Where Are They Now - Sam Perkins

Former Seattle Supersonics forward Big Smooth Sam Perkins
If you don’t love Sam Perkins, well, you just don’t love the Sonics.

With the possible exception of Fred Brown, I think Sam Perkins was the most beloved player in the history of the Sonics. Let me clarify that thought, since it might seem a bit confusing.

Every player has plusses and minuses. Some people might have disliked Shawn Kemp for the way he seemed to never quite be everything we wanted him to be. Gary Payton always bugged certain folks because of his attitude, or because of the way he treated younger players. Dale Ellis, well, his run-ins with the law and the bottle certainly bothered more than a few fans, and on down the line.

What I’m trying to say is that everyone liked Sam Perkins. The Big Smooth was just that, smooth. His motions on the court never made you think of anyone else remotely associated with basketball. His nonchalance reminded you only of a 75-year-old man making a left turn in a Cadillac – Sam was going to hit the three, you knew he was going to hit the three, he would do it when he was damn well and ready, and there wasn’t anything you could do about it.

Perkins also did all the little things that you wouldn’t expect from a man with his size and talent. Need points on a baby hook in the paint? Turn to Sam. Need someone to help on defense, grab a rebound, make the right pass, set a screen? Turn to Sam.

Always ready with a smile or a chuckle, Perkins made it all seem like fun, and that endeared him to a generation of fans. Add in his work with pediatric AIDS charities in Seattle, his time with KUBE as a DJ, hey, the guy was just loved.

So it comes with no surprise that Sam Perkins is still doing the right thing. While many other retired players search for meaning in their post-athletic lives, Perkins is involved with Nothing But Nets, a charity which strives to bring more mosquito netting to Africans, thereby reducing the deadly spread of malaria. Perkins even has a blog on the campaign’s website.

But Perkins doesn’t stop there. He volunteers his time to work with the Special Olympics, as you can see from this touching interview from ABC News. In addition to helping the team stateside, Perkins traveled to China for the Olympics in early October, lending his expertise to a group that surely treasured every word. In addition, Big Smooth also works with Basketball Without Borders and a number of other charities too many to list here.

You know, sometimes, great players are miserable human beings, and fans become disillusioned by their off-court actions. There’s nothing wrong with that, and there is nothing about being a tremendous athlete that requires a level of civic awareness higher than that of the average person. After all, how many of your co-workers, family, or friends donates weekend after weekend at the soup kitchen?

Then you have Sam Perkins. A very good player on the court, Perkins has dwarfed his accomplishments as a basketball player with his accomplishments as a man.

Where is Sam Perkins Now? From what I can tell, he’s right where he wants to be.

Stern and Bennett: Get a room!

"I now pronounce you Duke of Douchebagia!"

The Love fest continues.

As Nussbaum pointed out earlier, NBA commish David "Step Stool" Stern and Sonics Stealer Clay "Big Boy" Bennett have been rather chummy of late. The Stern One even took time out from his busy schedule of crushing the dreams of children to bestow some sort of evil medallion on the over-stuffed Okie.

Ain't love sweet?

Honestly, has there ever been a more disgusting pair of evil doers? OK, besides those guys. This whole thing has got me this close to tuning out the NBA for good. Where's the ABA when you need 'em?

At least Art Thiel hasn't given up hope. My favorite Seattle sports scribe was on KPLU this morning and talked about how the Sonics might stay in town after all.

Make up your mind, peoples — I'm dying here!

Monday, November 5

Where Are They Now: Jimmy Mac

Saying the words “Jim McIlvaine” to a Sonic fan more than twelve years of age is tantamount to saying “Dick Cheney” in front of a democrat – them’s fightin’ words, bud.

Ah, McIlvaine: So hated by so many for so little. So little performance, that is. His $5 million a year contract sounds like peanuts now, but it was that contract which contributed to the downfall of an entire roster, ushering in more than a decade of organizational ineptitude (thanks, guys!), that only now appears to be clearing up.

But that is, thank goodness, the past. What does the present hold for the man who made an entire region so angry?

Broadcasting, for one. McIlvaine is the color commentator for Marquette’s men’s basketball team, and also writes a blog (“Chronicles from the bizarre world of Jim McIlvaine”)for the ESPN affiliate in Milwaukee. He even weighed in on the Sonics’ situation in one blog entry (and, thankfully, he doesn’t take Clay Bennett’s side).

Photography, for another. The former center has done work for Popular Hotrodding and GM High-Tech Performance, and even wrote a piece for

And, as if that wasn’t enough, McIlvaine hosts a summer camp for children called Camp Anokijig, located about an hour north of Milwaukee. Oh, and he had a bit part in the movie, “Shallow Hal.” Yes, I know, I missed it, too.

So, there you go. Jim McIlvaine: broadcaster, photographer, writer, actor, summer camp president. I guess it shows that you can make alot of your life even when things get tough. Of course, it helps when you make $5 million a year for half a decade, but still.

Before I go, here’s a quote from McIlvaine I found especially enjoyable (taken from Is there any college player out there right now that reminds you a lot of yourself?

Jim McIlvaine: Not really, they're all better than me.

Can’t say the man isn’t honest.

Sonics + A-Rod = Greedy Mofos

Fox Sports has a great article about the A-Rod-Boras-Bennett Axis of Evil:
Over the last decade Seattle dropped $6.2 million dollars a year to watch the Sonics. Talk about getting hosed. Does Bennett want more seats? Nope. More luxury boxes? Nope. He wants Seattle to shell out a whopping $220 million for new restaurants, shops and a practice court. All essential tools to building a championship caliber team. Especially the shops. One question remains, where will Clay park his yacht in Oklahoma?

Read the rest here.
You're preaching to the choir, my friend!

Friday, November 2

Bennett makes his move

KIRO radio just reported that Bubba Bennett has released a press release that (big surprise!) he's moving the team to Oklahoma. This, of course, comes on the heels of the other big announcement today that there is a group of local businessmen who want to buy the team.

Read the entire press release here.

More updates as the day goes on . . .

Thursday, November 1

Plans for tonight?

OK, so the Sonics lost their opener last night. Big whoop. Tonight's another night, and we here at Supersonicsoul are hoping everyone goes out to support the team tonight in what may be the last Sonics home opener in Seattle history.

In case you missed it yesterday, Chunkstyle thoughtfully provided us with a good way to help celebrate the Sonics without celebrating the evil men who own them. Print them. Wear them. Make us proud.

And after the game, come across the street to Mainstage Comedy (across from the Team Store), where I'm headlining a great comedy show.

See you tonight, kids!