Friday, May 29

30th Anniversary Trivia

In the spirit of the 30th Anniversary of the Sonics' only championship, riddle me this:

Which two participants in the 1979 NBA Finals were the last to suit up for the Seattle SuperSonics?

15 comments:

chunkstyle23 said...

I didn't think I was eligible so I didn't answer earlier. However it looks like all the likely answerers were out in the gorgeous Seattle weather today.

So I cheated and looked it up on basketball-reference.com. I naturally started looking for the Sonics stats under "inactive franchises" first, but was horrified to find it under the "Blanky Blank-Blankers" and actually had to click on that cursed series of letters to get the possible answers.

I found 3 candidates: Sikma (85-86), Downtown (83-84) and Gus (83-84). Is there an asterisk that I missed?

JAS said...

Another fun fact about the ’79 Sonics: one player is missing from the team photo—none other than Wally Walker.
Kevin Jackson, the ESPN.com editor, once writing about Seattle’s pro sports championship drought, rattled through the big names of that fabled 1979 squad and then mentioned in parentheses something like “I refuse to admit that Wally Walker was involved.” Obviously many Sonics fans share that sentiment, and the fact that Wally isn’t in the team photo makes it easier to pretend.

JAS said...

I noticed Nuss wrote “participants in the 1979 NBA Finals,” and I assumed that “participants” means people from both sides—the Sonics and the Bullets. So, after a quick run through of the Bullets’ 1978-79 roster on www.basketball-reference.com I noticed that two Bullets played for the Sonics in the late ’80s/early ’90s after everyone from the Sonics’ side had moved on—Greg Ballard played two games for the Supes in 1988-89, and Dave Corzine (who was a rookie in 1978-79) played 28 games for Seattle in 1990-91. Do those gents count, Nuss?

I would guess that “suit up” does not refer to coaches (even though they’re the only ones who actually wear suits during the games), so that leaves out Bernie Bickerstaff, who was an assistant under Dick Motta.

JAS said...

Lastly, I have a suggestion for Chunkstyle. If you can’t bear to refer to the former Sonics by their actual name, I have a concise substitute for you—just refer to them as “the Clap” (as in thunderclap, of course, but also as in the STD). It seems appropriate enough, and it’s concise. Plus, when Durant bolts OKC we can all make jokes about him being free of the Clap. I actually e-mailed Bill Simmons suggesting that he use this in case he ever tires of calling them The Team That Shall Not Be Named. If we can get him on board with this maybe it will catch on (if you’ll pardon the expression). I sure hope so.

chunkstyle23 said...

Ooh, I didn't catch that bit of wordplay on Nussbaum's part. Well played, both of you!

The Clap. I kinda like that...

PN said...

Damn, JAS, you're too good for this website. I was hoping it might take a few days for people to add up the mysterious phrasing in that sentence. Corzine and Ballard are the correct answers. Funny, when they played here, I don't remember anyone mentioning they had played for the Bullets during that series ...

Anonymous said...

I like Sonix - the way Nuss has been using it. Still sounds right, but gives a little twist to it. And, it's got an allusion to the coolest Sonic in history, the X-Man.

chunkstyle23 said...

Or Son-Icks.

I'm sure conversations last summer covered this territory all too well, but I was in complete and utter denial back then. Aw, who'm I trying to fool with the past-tense talk...

Anonymous said...

I vote for Suckits.

Anonymous said...

Lenny Wilkins, Wally Walker and Jack Sikma wore suits for the Sonics just a few of years ago.

nuss said...

Wrong kind of suits, my friend, but point taken.

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