Seattle Mariners brought back once members of its Seattle SuperSonics in a celebration of the team and the history of the city over the weekend at Safeco Field. The Mariners honored the history of the SuperSonics before their game against Tampa Bay Rays by bringing back Lenny Wilkens, George Karl, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Tom Chambers, Hersey Hawkins, Slick Watts, Dale Ellis, Jack Sikma, Spencer Haywood, Fred Brown, Gus Williams, Nate McMillan, Michael Cage and James Donaldson.
The Sonics played in Seattle for 41 years before owner Clay Bennett, who purchased the team in 2006, moved them to his hometown of Oklahoma City a year later, leaving the 14th-largest TV market for the 45th.
“We didn’t deserve to lose a team. We lost a team,” said former Sonics forward Detlef Schrempf, originally from Germany. “We’re a major city in the U.S. We should have a franchise. You shouldn’t lose it, not the way we did.”
The former Sonics appreciated the gesture by the Mariners.
“Athletes recognize one another. It’s nice the Mariners did this,” said Wilkens, who led the team to the city’s only championship, the 1979 NBA title. “I’m a Mariners fan, I’m a baseball fan. I grew up in Brooklyn with the Dodgers. So I go way back to Jackie Robinson.”
To get a team back in Seattle has been a mission for Payton as he is trying to muster up support from local leaders to build a new arena.
“We’re not able to talk about a team coming back here yet because the 5-year deal is not over yet. That was part of the deal when Clay Bennett took the team,” Payton said. “When that happens then you can go to David Stern and say, ‘Look, this is what we have.’ We need to get an arena here first. We all know that this is a great city, a beautiful city, but NBA is about show. You got to show them. The history is rich here. The team was here for a long time. Then we broke it. We just gave the team away. This city needs basketball.”
Pick up a 2-pack and what you do with these Shawn Kemp inspired “Don’t Make It Rain, Man” condoms is up to you but it’s better safe than sorry.
Throughout the season and all the dunks I’ve seen from Los Angeles Clippers rookie Blake Griffin the more has reminded me of an early Shawn Kemp. Back in his days with the Seattle Supersonics the “Reign Man” showed off tremendous power and pure athletic ability to do all kinds of twisting and turning to be one of the leagues elite dunkers.
So what did the former Slam Dunk participant think of Griffin’s dunk over the 2011 Kia Optima to win the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest over the weekend? The 41-year-old Kemp joined KJR in Seattle with Dave Mahler and Ian Furness and called Griffin’s final dunk “weak.”
“I’m a big Blake Griffin fan, but that dunk at the contest might’ve been the weakest dunk in the dunk contest that I’ve seen in a long time,” Kemp said. “I love the choir and all that stuff was great, but you at least gotta jump over the car though right.”
Kemp also said that he could jump over a car.
“I’m 41 years old and right now I could do it. Two Smart Cars,” he said.
I swear I could post one of these videos up after every Los Angeles Clippers game as rookie Blake Griffin continues to show flashes of a young Shawn Kemp and is just a highlight reel every night. This comes from last nights Clippers 100-99 victory over the Sacramento Kings in a game that was closer than the highlight reel would lead you to believe but if your an NBA fan your man crush for Griffin has got to be continuing to grow.
Griffin finished with 24 points and 14 boards, his 19th straight double-double.
NBA 2K11 has Michael Jordan in it, but it also has Joe Dumars, Isiah Thomas, Danny Ainge, Kevin McHale, James Worthy, Terry Porter, Orlando Woolridge, John Wall equipped with his dance of the same name, skinny Shawn Kemp, the Seattle Supersonics and tons of other surprises.
NBA Jam officials are excited on their decision to return franchise later this year to the Nintendo Wii and NBA players are no different in this regard. Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Love expressed his love for the game so much that he went online to stuff the ballots for his inclusion,
“I went online and kept refreshing my computer and voting myself into ‘Jam,’ I’m not going to lie,” said Love. “‘NBA Jam’ was my favorite game growing up, so I was on there all day voting for myself. I used to play as Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton or Karl Malone and John Stockton. I never even imagined that I could be in ‘Jam.’ I just want to get that team fire, get that blue ball … it’s going to be cool.”
Other players like Carmelo Anthony said he used to always use the New York Knicks with John Starks and Patrick Ewing. Anthony also can’t wait to see himself in the game saying that he’s not a high flyer, but they’ll have to have the ball on fire when he shoots.
To Golden State Warriors rookie Stephen Curry, just the mention of “NBA Jam” brings back special memories of playing as his sharpshooting dad, Dell, in the game. “I remember in ‘NBA Jam’ and ‘NBA Live 95,’ those were the two games where my dad just couldn’t miss.”