Tuesday, December 24

Merry Kemp-Mas To All!



And to all a Rudy White! Happy Holidays to Seattle Supersonics fans around the world from the gang of idiots at Supersonicsoul. 


Monday, December 23

We Three Kings (Sonics Edition)

Merry (Almost) Christmas Supersonicsouliacs! Quick Christmas Quiz: In the 41-year history of the Seattle Supersonics (sniff-sniff) there were only three Kings. Can you name them?

(Answer after the page break)


Wednesday, November 27

Seattle Supersonics in the Playoffs: A Tale of Two Cities



With Thanksgiving just around the corner, folks across the country turn introspective, reflecting on the things in life they are most thankful for. And if the Seattle Supersonics were still around, they might be giving thanks for the Houston Rockets.

The Sonics and the (then San Diego) Rockets entered the league together in 1967. They wouldn't meet in the playoffs until 1982, but when they did, the Sonics dominated Houston.

Between 1980 and 2000, the Sonics defeated the Rockets five straight times in the playoffs before losing in their final meeting in 1997.

Of course, during that same period they lost five straight times to the Lakers in the postseason. As with most things in Seattle basketball history, no great accomplishment went unpunished.


SONICS vs ROCKETS

1982 -- WON, 2-1, first round

1987 -- WON, 4-2, conference semifinals

1989 -- WON, 3-1, first round

1993 -- WON, 4-3, conference semifinals

1996 -- WON, 4-0, conference semifinals

SONICS vs LAKERS

1980 -- LOST, 4-1, conference finals

1987 -- LOST, 4-0, conference finals

1989 -- LOST, 4-0, conference semifinals

1995 -- LOST, 3-1, first round

1998 -- LOST, 4-1, conference semifinals

Despite the seemingly one-sided history with the Rockets in the playoffs, the games were usually nail-bitters. Three out of the five series victories were decided in overtime, including the epic double OT battle in 1987, a game Sonics fans everywhere will always be thankful for. 

Friday, November 1

Da Fortson Club

Danny Fortson Seattle Supersonics


Do you remember Danny Fortson and his wonderful, crazy, maddening 2004-05 season? If you’re a Sonic fan, of course you do. I think the prevailing memory for NBA fans of Fortson (for those who remember him, anyway) is that of a thug, but he was much more than that.

For that season (and much of his career, really), Fortson was a foul-drawing, foul-inducing, efficiency machine. Yes, his hate-hate relationship with officials was tough to digest and severely limited his minutes, but on the offensive end the man was a joy to watch, drawing fouls at a ridiculous rate, and converting at the foul line at an equally marvelous percentage. Check the numbers (all per 36 minutes of play):

Personal Fouls: 9.1
Free Throw Attempts: 8.9
Free Throw Percentage: 88%

It’s crazy, right? The stereotype of a guy who draws nine fouls per 36 minutes is that of an undisciplined and bruising power forward, someone incapable of making more than half of his free throws, let alone nearly 90%.

In fact, if you look it up, here’s the list of players in NBA history to have averaged eight fouls and eight free throw attempts per 36 minutes, while shooting better than 80% from the line, and playing more than 500 minutes (I call it the Rule of 8, or Da Fortson Club):

Danny Fortson, 2004-05

And that’s it. In fact, you have to slide the requirements down to seven fouls and seven free throw attempts per 36 minutes, and a 70% free throw percentage to even find two other players who qualify, and they were playing during the Eisenhower administration.

You could say many things about Danny Fortson – lovable bruiser, offensively gifted thug, efficient hacker – but he is without peer in NBA history when it comes to drawing fouls, dishing fouls out, and converting at the charity stripe.

Thursday, September 26

Seattle Supersonics and the groupies who loved them



Deadspin reprinted a great Esquire article from 1992 by E. Jean Carroll about basketball groupies in the post-Magic NBA. There are some interesting/embarrassing stories about many old-school players, including the Seattle Supersonics' own "Big Smooth" Sam Perkins:
Miss Diana Mendoza is going to Tone Loc's record company tonight, so she has to buy a new bustier, but she has time to whip by in the Jetta Eddie Murphy bought her and meet me at the Source on Sunset Boulevard for a sandwich. Miss Mendoza is Austrian, Spanish, Native American, and Moroccan and has been an extra in a couple of movies. She has hung out at Magic's house with Miss Power and says that she "loves Earvin," but the one person she always wanted to meet was Sam Perkins. "Sam was like everything," Miss Mendoza had told me and now tells me again. "Magic had a party at the Palladium and all the ballplayers were there, and I told Robin there's only one NBA player I want to meet, and she said who, and I said Sam Perkins. And she introduced me! And I said when I met him, 'I rooted for you!' And we've been liking each other ever since. We had a date, but"—her bosom rises and falls with dejection—"we've never gotten together."
Awwww. But they are not as complimentary about another former Sonic:
Olden Polynice drives in for a stunning, almost indigestible, slam dunk.

"The ugliest player in the NBA," agree the young ladies, dipping into the jalapeƱos.
(cue sad trombone)Read the whole story here.

Wednesday, September 25

Friday, September 6

Supersonicsoul Hall of Fame: Gary Payton

The Glove

Words: PN | Illustration: Rafael Calonzo Jr.

Gary Payton is going into the real Hall of Fame this weekend. Obviously, we love Gary Payton. This story was originally published on July 24, 2008. 
 
How does it happen?

How does a man so menacing, so scowling, so intense become so beloved?

How does a brash youngster from Oakland by way of Corvallis become the most treasured player in four decades of Seattle basketball?

So many questions, all coming back to the same answer.

Intensity.
Gary Payton’s given middle name may have been Dwayne, but to those of us who followed his career in a Sonics’ jersey, his true middle name was always Intensity. His 1,335-game career was built upon a foundation of ferocious defense, perhaps more than any guard in history.


Ask yourself: How many other guards earned nicknames because of defensive skills? Are there any beyond Payton? He wasn’t “The Glove” for the way he stroked teammates’ egos, he was “The Glove” because of the way he clung to opposing guards like a wool sock to a freshly laundered towel.

Relax and remember Payton now in your mind’s eye. Not the GP that wandered the NBA like Odysseus for the final years of his career; that wasn’t The Glove. I mean the Payton who dominated his position for a decade in Seattle, the Payton who inhabited the All-Defense Team as if it was his summer cottage.

What do you see when you turn on the film projector in your mind? Is it the chest-bumping menace, arms stretching ever-outwards – as if he was part Plastic Man and could reach all the way around a man from both sides? Perhaps you see him poised in his defensive stance, shorts hiked up with a snarl – oh, that menacing snarl! – daring his opponent to try and drive past him? Is it the way he snapped off jumpers with disdain, as if he couldn’t believe he had to settle for an outside shot when all he really wanted to do was drive into the forest of big men? Maybe you see Payton artfully lofting the ball to an absolute perfect apex up-up-up for Kemp to snatch it and throw it back down-down-DOWN through the cylinder, a roller coaster of delicate passing and violent dunking so utterly incongruous it defied description?

For me, that rickety film projector always plays the same clip. It is Payton cockily trotting backwards up the court after yet another knife-like incision into the paint, his head cocked sideways, mouth wide open, words spilling out faster than an Al Sharpton sermon. It wasn’t enough for Payton to beat you, he wanted you to know you had been beaten, that he was going to beat you again the next time, and the time after that, and the time after that, and if you didn’t watch yourself, he was going to take the ball right from your ha .... crap, there he goes!

To me, the pinnacle of Payton’s tenure wasn’t the 1996 NBA Finals but two years previous, during the infamous 1993-94 season. The trio of Payton, Nate McMillan, and Kendall Gill only lasted two seasons in Seattle, but it was two seasons of utter hell for opposing guards. Three guards, three defensive demons, all three capable of a steal at a moment’s notice.

Just how fantastic were Payton and his Co-conspirators? The NBA has kept track of steals since the 1972-73 season, and in those 35 years, two teams have managed to pass 1,000 steals in a season – and one of them was the 1993-94 Sonics (if you know the other, tout your knowledge in the comments). So great were the Sonics that season that the second-place team was closer to seventh than to first. The incomparable McMillan led all individual players in steals despite averaging a scant 26 minutes, and Gill and Payton both cracked the league’s top ten, but even those amazing figures don’t tell the whole story.

The Sonics were like religious fanatics that season, and assistant coaches Tim Grgurich and Bob Kloppenburg were the resident preachers. The whole team (well, perhaps not Ricky Pierce; never Ricky Pierce) drank in their defensive mantras, and the most apt disciples were Gill, McMillan, and Payton.

Imagine yourself an opposing point guard that season. Perhaps you’re Spud Webb of the Kings, and you’ve been given the role of bringing the ball up against Gary Payton. You receive the inbounds pass and turn backwards as you approach half-court, but Payton starts bumping you with his chest, forcing you to spin sideways so you can gain an angle. Out of the corner of your eye, you see McMillan inching off his man, eyes intensely focused on the ball, waiting for you to let up for just one second. You pivot around again, trying to get by Payton so that you can just pass the ball to someone – anyone – and be done with these vultures. But he won’t let you get by; Gary wants you to do the work. The shot-clock ticks downward, urging you to cross the line before a violation is called.

Finally, you make it past half-court, and now McMillan has given up the charade of guarding his man – why bother, the idea of you passing the ball was laughable to begin with – and now he’s bearing down on you and the two-headed monster – McPayton – has you by the throat. As Payton slaps at the ball for the sixth time in the last eight seconds – or was it McMillan? who can tell? – your willpower begins to fade. Who can withstand this fury? Finally, Payton wins, Kemp sprints down the court, snatches an alley-oop, the crowd screams, Garry St. Jean beckons for a timeout, and you trudge back to the bench, only to see Gill taking off his warmups.

It never ended.

Well, that was every night in 1993-94 – every night until the Denver Nuggets and Dikembe Mutombo ... no, we won’t talk about that part today.

But back to Payton (wipes blood from forehead after aborted attempt at lobotomy). I don’t think it’s a stretch to make the claim that he’s the greatest player in team history. To wit:

- Franchise leader in games, minutes, points, assists, and steals
- 18,207 points scored, or as many as Gus Williams and Xavier McDaniel combined
- Nine-time all star
- Nine times 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-team All-NBA
- Nine times 1st-team All Defensive Team
- Of the ten best single-season PERs in team history, five belong to Payton

Admittedly, Payton was not the perfect player. His antagonistic attitude towards rookies was frustrating to the team’s development, and his undying confidence in his abilities – so useful on the court – proved to be his undoing off it, as he wound up being on the losing end of a battle with Howard Schultz. At the time of his trade to Milwaukee for Ray Allen, most fans bemoaned the move, but looking back it was obviously a wise one.

That said, there’s no point belaboring the argument of his place in Sonic history. Gary Payton is the greatest Sonic ever and will be the first (only?) drafted Sonic ever inducted into the Hall of Fame. He is the Alpha and the Omega of Seattle basketball. There is no “if only” with Payton because he never left the door open to questioning – he played seemingly every minute of every game he could in a Sonics’ uniform with a manic fury unrivaled in Seattle sports history. A history of the SuperSonics without Gary Payton would be like a history of the United States without Abraham Lincoln, a history of rap music without Public Enemy. He may not have been the first or the last, but his importance is as undeniable as his will to compete.

Have I said enough? Perhaps. I’ll yield the floor, then, to the man himself, with words from his appearance at the Save Our Sonics rally a month ago.

“You guys have always supported me, and I’m supporting you,” Payton said, the crowd chanting his name as if it was 1996 once again. “And there ain’t nothin’ going to be stamped on my chest but Sonics when I go into the Hall of Fame.”

Still intense. Still beloved.

Thursday, September 5

Time Flies

How long has it been since the Sonics abandoned Seattle? Well, here's one way to look at it: My youngest daughter starts kindergarten today.

She was born after the team moved to Oklahoma.

Thursday, July 25

Tuesday, June 18

Terence Stansbury is not impressed


Clyde "The Glide" Drexler soars to the hoop during the 1987 NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in the arena formally known as the Seattle Center Coliseum, while Terence "The Statue of Liberty is the Best Dunk Ever" Stansbury looks on.  (Picture courtesy of Old School NBA Players.)

Thursday, June 13

Sonics Arena Update

This is either an early design for the new Sonics Arena or the world's largest Jello mold.

The latest release from the Seattle Supersonics Department of Vague Messaging:



KOOL MOE DEE CONCURS.

Wednesday, June 12

Hansen, NBA in "productive" talks for Seattle expansion team?

Why yes, this is the 80th time I've posted this photo. TRY AND STOP ME!

According to self-professed "plant based whole food" dieter Tim Montemayor, Chris Hansen and the NBA have been in talks to bring the Sonics back to Seattle via an expansion team, and things are starting to heat up.



Okay, so this guy isn't exactly Bill Simmons, but hey, it's a slow news day! It's either this or Derrick McKey eBay listings.

Friday, June 7

The Post George Karl Blues

Artwork by Rafael Calonzo, Jr. /  Tie by Cody Karl. 

George Karl had just coached his team to the most wins in franchise history. They were young, exciting and packed in the crowds at home. But after consecutive first round exits in the playoffs, many were calling for Karl to pack his bags and move on, as he'd done so many times before.  After the final, painful playoff loss, Karl almost sounded like he welcomed the ax, if only to end his suffering:

"I'll be O.K., guys," said Karl. "I'm fine. I am fine. I'm the same as I've ever been. What have I done wrong? Why do I have to be ashamed? I didn't make a good decision? Good. Fire me. I've given all I have to give. I care. I like these guys. I like coaching these guys. Go mess with someone who doesn't care. Go mess with some of the frauds out there, man."
This may sound like the Denver Nuggets, who just let Karl go on Thursday, but the quote is from a different time and place. 1995. Seattle.

But almost an identical situation.

The early 90s Sonics were a hot mess. "Trader Bob" Whitsitt, the young, hot-shot GM of the Seattle Supersonics, had hornswoggled some of the best young talent in the league, yet couldn't quite figure out how all the pieces went together as the team floundered under the near comatose style of coaching from old-schooler K.C. Jones. Enter George Karl.

Saturday, June 1

This day in Seattle Supersonics history: We Were The Champions



On June 1st 1979, I got to stay up past my bedtime to watch basketball on TV as the Seattle Supersonics won the city's first and only major men's sports championship. 

Like so much of their history, the Sonics were victims of terrible timing. With Bird and Magic still in college, 1979 was the last year that no one cared about the NBA. CBS thought so little of pro basketball that it didn't even televise the game live. Seattle had to suffer the indignity of having their coronation relegated to tape delay, one of many slaps to face the franchise would endear throughout their abbreviated history that would end abruptly less than 30 years later.  

No matter what happens with the future of the NBA in Seattle, nothing can take away Jack, DJ, The Wizard, Downtown Freddie Brown and getting to stay up late to watch the Habegger Hop. 


Monday, May 13

Euphemism of the Year Award

This one comes courtesy of the real estate broker Aubrey McClendon designated to sell his estate on the shores of Lake Michigan.

“What we’re selling is the house and a little over six acres with 500 feet of frontage on Lake Michigan and 700 feet on the Kalamazoo River,” said Dick Waskin, a broker with the ReMax Realty of Saugatuck. “It’s a house that’s built in a location that could never be duplicated.

“It was bought pretty much as an investment,” Waskin said of the lakefront mansion. “He’s come to a point, where it’s time to start reaping back some of that investment.”

He's come to a point where it's time to start reaping back some of that investment. Gosh, when did that point come about? I wish we knew.

(Details courtesy of Michigan Live).

The Loudest NBA Crowd of All Time? It wasn't Sacramento (or Seattle!)



Whenever one of the inevitable Seattle vs. Sacramento flame wars heat up, one of the things Kings fans like to bring up is the alleged Guinness record held by their old Arco arena as the loudest NBA crowd of all time.

Now, having had my ears drums nearly melted at several Seattle sporting events over the years, I had a hard time believing this. I mean, even with all those goddamned cowbells, how could roughly 17,000 people at Arco be louder than a sold-out Coliseum booing Charles Barkey and the refs in the 1993 Western Finals against the Phoenix Suns? Or the grunged out Key Arena maniacs cheering on the Sonics as they blew out the greatest team of all time in game four of the 1996 NBA Finals? Or the (then) record 40,172 screaming Supersonics fans at the Kingdome in 1980? 

Well, it turns out the Guinness Record for loudest NBA crowd of all-time is not held by the Sacramento Kings. Nor is it held by our beloved Seattle Supersonics. Well then, who the hell does hold the record? 

(click below to find out)

Flashback: Stern pressured Maloofs to sell Sacramento Kings to Seattle?



Twitter user RW34MVP (wasn't that one of the bounty hunters in Empire Strikes Back? ) posted an article from six months ago by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports stating that the NBA was pressuring the Maloofs to sell the Sacramento Kings to Chris Hansen because Stern was "determined to get a franchise back into Seattle" before his reign as ruthless dictator NBA commissioner ended:

Between now and his departure, Stern is determined to get a franchise back into Seattle, league sources said, and has become a strong ally of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s group to bring back the NBA there. Ballmer’s group has been trying to get the Maloof family to sell the Sacramento Kings, so that the franchise can eventually play in a new arena in Seattle. 
From the league office, pressure on the Maloofs to sell has been growing, sources said — just as hopes for a new Sacramento arena have been fading. Seattle Sonics fans will never forgive Stern for his complicit role in Clay Bennett’s deception to move that franchise to Oklahoma City, but make no mistake: Stern desperately wants to return the NBA to one of its great markets and wants it for his own measure of vindication before he leaves office. 
As one source involved in the process said, “Stern has enough time to get a team back to Seattle, but he’ll let Silver deal with the crowd [booing] on opening night.”
Yikes. Have times really changed this quickly or was this whole Seattle vs. Sacramento deal a diabolically Stern-esque set-up from the start?

Saturday, May 11

Ultimate poison pill in Seattle Supersonics, Sacramento Kings battle? Keeping Maloofs in NBA


When I mentioned a few weeks ago that Team Hanson was about to go into Scorched Earth Mode in their efforts to build Seattle Supersonics 2.0, I was thinking Ballmer might let his rabid pack of Microsoft lawyers off the leash. I don't think anyone dreamed they would truly use the nuclear option. The very last of last resorts. The unthinkable horror of . . . THE MALOOF SOLUTION!

Two sources told ESPN.com the Maloofs have informed their fellow owners that if their deal to sell and relocate the Kings to Seattle is not approved by league owners next week, they will not sell the team to a Sacramento-based group that promises to keep the Kings in Sacramento. 
Instead, the cash-strapped Maloofs have made a "backup" agreement with the Hansen-Ballmer group to sell it 20 percent of the team for $125 million to allow the Maloofs to continue to operate the franchise. 
From ESPN
Oh sweet lordy. PLEASE let this just be more crafty posturing to leverage an expansion team out of the NBA. Seattle does not want these guys owning the Sonics. I think this town has had enough sleazy,  awful owners, thank you.

Friday, May 3

George Karl: Still Fighting



There is, of course, a lot of sadness if you’re a fan of George Karl today. His team, the Denver Nuggets, were given every opportunity they could possibly hope for by their opponents, the Golden State Warriors, last night in Oakland and yet were unable to overcome a massive second-half deficit.

And with that, the Nuggets were out of the playoffs in the first round, something Karl’s teams have become all-too-familiar with in the past three decades.

In fact, Karl devotees might be surprised (not all that surprised, but surprised) to know that no man in NBA history has failed as often as George Karl in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Quickly, a list of coaches who have accumulated the most first-round losses in league history:

FIRST ROUND LOSSES, BY COACH, NBA HISTORY
George Karl, 14
Jack Ramsay, 12
Jerry Sloan, 9
Lenny Wilkens, 9
Larry Brown, 9
Rick Adelman, 8

It is, in some ways, a list of great coaches. All of them either are now or will be at some point, Hall of Fame coaches, and I include George Karl on that list.

The smart observer will note that total 1 & Dones doesn’t take into account the overall seasons; after all, Ray Allen missed more shots in his career than Steve Scheffler, does that make Scheff a better shooter?

Here, then, is a graph of the top playoff coaches in league history, with the percentage of their playoff runs which ended in 1 & Dones:

It certainly helps Karl’s cause, and the fact that were the Celtics to lose in the first round this season Doc Rivers’ career totals would almost be identical to Karl’s illustrates how tenuous an NBA coach’s playoff career results can be.

But let’s put all of that aside. I come here today not to bury Karl, but to praise him. Denver fans this morning are no doubt morose – their team has failed, once again, in the first round, marking the 8th time in 9 years they have done so under Karl. The parallels to Seattle’s experience with Karl are astounding – an exceptional regular season squad full of exciting players is booted too early for the home fans, prompting the tittering of dismissal talk throughout the region.

Certainly, there is more than just coincidence to Karl’s failures in the first round. For him to have flopped out so miserably in 11 of his past 13 playoff runs speaks to more than just idle chance, and I am sure that someone more talented than I will be able to figure out just what it is about Karl’s game-planning that leads to his repeated failures in the post-season.

But lest we forget, George Karl is a human being, and a good one at that. Not many coaches would take on the league by sporting a Seattle tie (see accompanying photo) while coaching a visiting team. Not many men in his profession have been through the physical tolls that Karl has been through in the past few years and managed to remain at or near the top of their line of work. And fewer men still have been able to reach the post-season as often as Karl has in his career.

And that, more than anything, is what people should focus on today. Yes, the Nuggets failed in the first round last night, and yes, it is easy to point fingers at George Karl this morning as the culprit. But before you do, ponder this: George Karl has reached the post-season 22 times in his career, the most of any coach in NBA history, alongside Pat Riley and Larry Brown. If the Nuggets retain Karl and reach the playoffs next year, George Karl – not Red Auerbach, not Phil Jackson, not Pat Riley, not Jerry Sloan – George Karl will have led more teams to the playoffs than any single coach in the entire history of the NBA.

There are many things to take away from last night – missed opportunities, missed calls, missed shots – but I, for one, will focus on how George Karl looked as he walked off the court. Quite a bit thinner and a little older, certainly; but not beaten.

Never beaten.

Wednesday, May 1

Best Sixth Man in Seattle Supersonics History: EJ, Downtown, or ?



Paul had a nice mention of Eddie Johnson’s birthday today – which brings to mind the question: Who was the best Sixth Man in Sonic history?

It’s a tough one to answer, tougher still because games started information doesn’t exist prior to the 80s. Assuming that Fred Brown automatically receives a nod as co-champion of this phantom trophy, who else deserves the honor?

Here’s some quick numbers on players who started fewer than 30 games for the Sonics in a given season:

WIN SHARES
7.1, Sam Perkins, 96-97
6.9, Sam Perkins, 95-96
6.8, Antonio Daniels, 04-05
6.7, Shawn Kemp, 91-92
6.0, Vincent Askew, 93-94
6.0, Dale Ellis, 97-98
6.0, Nate McMillan, 93-94

POINTS PER GAME
20.5, Xavier McDaniel, 88-89
18.5, Tom Chambers, 85-86
17.5, Ricky Pierce, 90-91
17.4, Eddie Johnson, 90-91
17.1, Eddie Johnson, 91-92

PER
21.6, Shawn Kemp, 91-92
19.3, Ruben Patterson, 00-01
18.6, Xavier McDaniel, 88-89
18.4, Eddie Johnson, 90-91
17.7, Fred Brown, 82-83

WIN SHARES/48 minutes
.197, Danny Fortson(!), 04-05
.188, Ricky Pierce, 93-94
.177, Shawn Kemp, 91-92
.173, Sam Perkins, 96-97

Best Rebounder: Shawn Kemp, 21.2 TRB%, 1991-92
Best Scorer: Ricky Pierce, 26 points per 36 minutes, 1993-94
Best Passer: Nate McMillan, 9.3 assists per 36 minutes, 1990-91
Best Blocker: James Donaldson, 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes, 1981-82


I think you’d have to choose Shawn Kemp (1991-92 Edition) as the winner of best performer in a single season. You’ve got a guy averaging (per 36 minutes) 13 rebounds, nearly 20 points, two and a half blocked shots, a steal and a half, shooting above 50 percent from the field, and 75 percent from the line … yes, I think I’ll take that sort of production.

For a career choice, though, it’s a bit trickier. Sam Perkins’ numbers are certainly representative of his overall contributions to the mid-90s Sonics, Nate McMillan’s yeoman’s work for so many years certainly deserves a mention, and who can forget Ricky Pierce’s instant offense in the early 90s, but I think – with no influence from the fact that today’s his birthday – Eddie Johnson deserves the nod.

EJ’s 20+ points a night (per 36) for 3 consecutive seasons is pretty sensational, and unmatched in the team’s (documented) history. With that in mind, I think it’s safe to say that Eddie Johnson and Fred Brown are the two best Sixth Men in Sonic history.