Wednesday, July 16

SSS Hall of Fame

When I was just a little child,
Happiness was there awhile.
Then from me, yeah, it slipped one day.
Happiness, come back, I say.
'cause if you don't come, I've got to go
Lookin' for happiness.
Well, if you don't come,
I've got to go
Lookin', Lord, for happiness, happpiness.

—Bob Marley, I’m Hurting Inside

Weeks after the decision that peeled the Sonics from Seattle like an old bandage, the exposed wound lingers, a pain which demands acknowledgement.

Summer league results dribble out of Las Vegas and Orlando, but the reasons for following them have vanished. Free agent nomads wander the NBA summertime desert, but their camels will not rest at our tent, because Seattle’s oasis has dried up.

My inclination is still to check the websites devoted to basketball in an attempt to scour out possibilities for the future of the Seattle Sonics – a backup point guard here, a trade there, hey, now we’ve got something! – but that inclination dwindles with each day. The sheer triviality of pro sports – camouflaged for so long by the joy associated with following my favorite team – is now painfully obvious.

And so, the reader asks, what is the point of Supersonicsoul? A fair, if painful, question. Likewise, a difficult one to answer.

On the one hand, to quote Gertrude Stein, there is no there there. Stein’s witty rejoinder referred to Oakland, her hometown, but the thought is apropos of this site. A website devoted to a team that pulls up stakes and moves away is devoid of meaning. Following the Oklahoma City team makes us pathetic, and what else is there? (You, in the back, saying I should root for the Blazers? I’ll pretend I didn’t hear that).

However, news continues to trickle out of the possible Howard Schultz lawsuit, and the shred of hope that Schultz’ legal eagles will prevail remains.

Better still, David Stern’s stranglehold on the NBA continues to loosen, with some beginning to trumpet the possibility of King David abdicating his throne. Stern, the man responsible more than anyone for foisting Clay Bennett upon the good people of Seattle, is also responsible for the icy relations between his fiefdom and this region. His Nixonian defiance of events notwithstanding, the Tim Donaghy saga may finally bring his reign to a close, and with a new commissioner, anything Seattle-related is possible.

But those events are in the distant future. What of the present? What should this website offer its readers, other than odd stories on Jim Farmer’s singing career, Kendall Gill’s future as a pugilist, or Shawn Kemp’s offspring?

Well, we’re attempting to answer that question by offering a bridge between the ghosts of Sonics past and the ghosts of Sonics future.

When author Sherman Alexie testified on behalf of Sonic fans everywhere this past June, he stated that the players were more than mere athletes, they were modern-day versions of Greek gods. It was an enjoyable and hilarious ode to the joy of being a Sonic fan.

And the famed Seattle author is right – in the sense that the players give inspiration and hope to thousands. With that nugget of inspiration in mind, we’ve decided to create our own, ramshackle version of the Greek Pantheon – the Supersonicsoul Hall of Fame.

Beginning next week, we’ll present to you a member of the Hall, with a new member to be unveiled in each of the following weeks. More than just statistical charts, each piece will offer a tribute by our in-house artist, Rafael, as well as memories and anecdotes by Paul and myself (well, mostly myself; Paul’s busy completing his doctoral thesis on the cumulative effects of napping).

At present, the Hall is slated to hold a dozen or so members. Naturally, there will be debate as to who should have been excluded or included, but that’s the whole point of the project, really; it’s to remind all of us why we loved the Sonics in the first place. More than the games themselves, it is the recollection of the games and the people who played them which matters most. It’s the memory of Detlef’s haircut, Sam’s flat-footed threes, Kemp’s dunk at MSG, McKey’s nonchalance, Haywood’s brilliance, Shelton’s elbows – it’s all of that and much, much more.

As Bob Marley wrote, I’m hurting inside, because happiness has gone away. But if happiness don’t come my way, well, I’ve got to go lookin’ for happiness.


Anonymous said...

I nominate Michael Cage. Not because he was better than any other Sonics (I'm not that deluded!) but I think he was one of the more underrated Sonics of all time. Top 10 in games, top 10 in rebounds, biggest muscles.

And the hair, my God, the hair!

Unknown said...

Brent Barry is my man! When do we get to eat?

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across this site around October 2004 and have been hooked since. I want to thank all the authors here for the great job they've done for so long.

One of my favorite Supersonicsoul memories involves me posting a comment shortly after the 05-06 season about how this site brought me so much joy and that the authors NEED to continue. The response was so classic I saved it. Sadly, how many of the statements are actually true now? The truths in the response are enough to sadden a fan base.
Supersonicsoul Response:

So long as the Sonics are in Seattle, so long as the green and gold runs through our veins, so long as Wally Walker says dumb things, so long as Howard Schultz wears wildly inappropriate clothing and acts like a high school coach on the sidelines, so long as Nate McMillan remains the coolest man this side of Laurence Fishburne, this site will be alive. And thanks for the support!

Thank You, Supersonicsoul!

Çetin Cem said...

if this hopeless sonics fan in istanbul, turkey is still checking for that web site on a daily basis to see if there are any more updates, supersonicsoul should continue. i know there are dozens like me, and we'll keep looking for that happiness in anything remotely related with gold and green.

cheers guys!

Anonymous said...

Love the SSSHOF idea - can't wait to see the enshrinees.

Any way we can get a final vote tally like they show for the Heisman or MLB HOF? Would love to see which players barely missed the cut (here's guessing Pete sneaks in a few third-place sympathy votes for Cage, Big Smooth, Johnny Sundvold, and Clem Johnson. Plus I understand Paul had a poster of Russ Schoene up in his locker at THS under a sign that read, "1990 Rulz and Russ Schoene is God).

Anonymous said...

So are you putting in for players, or player memories? There is a difference.

For example, Jimmy Mac would not deserve to be in as a player, but the number of times he clobbered the hell out of an opposing player who was shooting deserves recognition. Perhaps an image of his burly arm and elbow hitting another player's arm while hit body checks the player into the bleachers?

And Kendall Gill-- was there ever a greater gliding shot. Hell, I can't remember him once jumping and landing in the same spot... he'd shoot from the left L of the FT lane and land in on the hashline out by right midcourt! ;)

What about X-man hunched down just prior to unraveling another crazy fade away...

Or Dale Ellis aligning his feet to come perfectly off a screen and shoot all in one motion.

Those are signature moves, which to me are a more fun memento at present, when we need it. Later, when the dust settles and we have a new team, THAT'S when we address the great players for being the greatest!