NBA / Mar 17, 2010 / 5:02 pm

My Top 10 Favorite Sonics of the Past 25 Years

My favorite team wore green, too. No, the Seattle Supersonics don’t perfectly blend into the St. Patrick’s Day theme — we damn sure aren’t lucky, although the whole situation does make you feel like drinking sometimes — but I’m going to steal Aron’s idea anyway and commemorate the holiday with my 10 favorite Sonics:

1. Gary Payton — He’s not the greatest point guard of all-time, but if I’m putting together the AB All-Stars to play the Space Jam aliens with everything on the line, I want GP in his prime to run the one. You know too well about his defense and the trash-talk, but he was underrated as a scorer and passer. At his peak, Payton was dropping 24 points and nine assists a night.

2. Shawn Kemp — When I first found out there was a way to convert VHS tapes to DVD, the first two things I thought about were my Shaka Zulu movie and my Shawn Kemp: The Reign Man video. I’ve owned no fewer than four Shawn Kemp posters in my life; the last one I left hanging on the wall at Dime when I left New York two years ago. If it’s not there when I get back, there’s gonna be consequences and repercussions.

3. Nate McMillan — He’ll always be known as “Mr. Sonic” in Seattle, even if he wins 10 championships in Portland. Defense, threes, veteran leadership, and one of the last guys to loyally wear short-shorts.

4. Xavier McDaniel — I was never really into comic books growing up, so my favorite super-hero was the X-Man. You know how kids do the “My Dad can beat up your Dad” thing? Even I knew that my Dad couldn’t mess with the X-Man.

5. Hersey Hawkins — Just like you can’t get through a Spurs game without hearing that DeJuan Blair had no ACL’s, it seemed you couldn’t get through a Sonics game without hearing that The Hawk, at 6-3, played center on his high school squad. You could see it in his game, too. Although he was paid to be a sniper from long-range, Hersey was tough and had no problem mixing it up in the paint.

The Glove

6. Sam Perkins — Never was a ballplayer’s nickname more appropriate than “Big Smooth.” Compared to the guy who ripped it up at UNC and with the Lakers, Sam was basically a fat gunner by the time he got to Seattle, but you couldn’t hate that super-slow release and half-baked demeanor.

7. Detlef Schrempf — Between his four-year run at the University of Washington and a six-year stint with the Sonics, Detlef is a local legend. He was on the other side of 30 by the time he returned to Seattle after playing for the Mavs and Pacers, but he made two All-Star Games with us and was a starter on the ’96 NBA Finals squad.

8. Eddie Johnson & Ricky Pierce (tie) — Automatic jumpers. Different builds, different shooting forms, same results. When Pierce set an NBA record (since broken) for the most consecutive made free throws, it was the first time FT’s seemed interesting to me. When I first saw EJ stick a half-court shot, I spent the next couple of hours launching them in my Mom’s driveway.

9. Ray Allen — For whatever reason, although I’m guessing it was his average-guy personality, Ray was never as beloved in Seattle as guys like GP and Kemp. But you had to love his game and respect the hell out of his work ethic. The best pure scorer I’ve ever seen in a Seattle uniform.

10. Flip Murray — The “throw-in” of the Ray/GP trade got his shot when Ray went down with an ankle injury for a few games, and turned it into what’s gonna be a 10-year-plus NBA career as a hired gun. Flip has been on eight teams and will be getting buckets until he can’t walk anymore.

Honorable mentions — Kevin Durant, Michael Cage, Jeff Green, Dana Barros, Desmond Mason, Dale Ellis.

1. Ruben Patterson — I’d call him a scumbag to his face if I wasn’t certain he’d kick my ass. Dude didn’t just cheat on his wife with her best friend/their child’s nanny, he raped the woman. A year later, he was arrested for beating his wife.
2. Benoit Benjamin — Too bad Joe Barry Carroll already took the “Joe Barely Cares” nickname. Benoit played basketball with all the enthusiasm of a man who’s been holding his wife’s purse at the mall for three hours. I’ve had kids at Subway make my sandwich with more fire in their belly.
3. Reggie Evans — Sure, he works hard and does the “little things,” but there’s no excuse for intentionally causing pain to another man’s balls on the court.
4. Kendall Gill — Just too much of a pretty boy. And did you see his episode of “Cribs” on MTV? I’m just saying, Gill did NOTHING to dispel the rumors swirling about him.
5. Danny Fortson — One time I asked a beat writer who covered the Sonics what they thought Fortson’s problem was. “He can’t handle success,” the writer told me. Perfect description. Every time Fortson took one step forward, he intentionally took two steps back.

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  • Roman

    Shawn Kemp in my book is and was the best player to ever suit up for the Sonics- dude was a freak!

  • mr.sonic

    Dale Ellis didn’t make the list? Sedale Eugene Threatt was pretty clutch in his Sonic days. Jack Sikma?

  • quest???

    what was kendal gill’s reputation, ive always heard he had a bad rep but i still do not know what it is. can someone explain it?

  • isotope

    Who said Johnny Gill was gay? watch your mouth.

  • isotope
  • fab

    what about raw lew? ok forget about him…but what about frank brickowski. you cant speak about the sonics without mentioning da big brick!

  • Dapro

    That pic of gill is hilarious, he looks like the kid from immature and sister, sister

  • fab

    robert swift anyone??? anyone?

  • Citizen B

    Detlef Schrempt looked like a dike

  • DurrtyInjun

    Sikma has to be there. I mean, he got to be above Flip at the minimum.

  • hahns

    @isotope lol great picture of kendal gill

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Sikma’s last season with the Sonics was in ’86, when I was four years old. I have no memory of the guy when he played here.

  • crossphaded

    yeah, how did Dale Ellis not make the list?

  • Cake

    Rashard Lewis not even an honorable mention – good. I’d put Eric Snow before Flip, though. Least favorite Sonic of all time is Wally Walker. Put Vin Baker in that bottom five too for doing those Nutcracker cameos.

  • silky

    no slick wattage

    too old for my blood but there was prob some black and white footage of him. had the look anyways

    ièm out like the detlef autograph i got on my tshirt on the hood of his porsche…. typical german

  • silky

    ugghhh that came out wrong like some kendall gillnuendo

  • Papa Smurf

    Michael Cage should be higher . . . because he has the best hair in NBA history. Don’t even try to challenge this assertion. No one can compete with Cage’s curls (certainly not Kendall Gill – that pic is absurd). When you start to type Cage’s name in Google, one of the choices is “michael cage jheri curl.”

  • mememememe

    no rashad evans at all???

  • mememememe

    …oh crap i mean rashard lewis…..

    …too much ufc….

  • guti

    that picture of gary payton is fucked up.

    is his head always that skinny, seems like his ears are going to meet each other at the back of his head.

    that photo messed up my morning


    Where is Mr. Big Snacks?

  • RC

    The Glove
    The Reignman
    Nate McMillan

    Those are the best of the Sonics Franchise

    I love how Shawn Kemp has a smooth release set shot from the perimeter and his power game is just insane specially the spin moves with or without the ball.

    Gary Payton I would is probably the best post up guard to ever play the game. The guy is a complete player. One of the few players who plays both ends equally at high levels. Very rare now a days to have that kind of point guard.

    Nate McMillan is pure defense and heart.

    Detlef is the best mascot they have! I still remember the triple threat commercials from adidas!

  • Colton

    the only person id add to that list is luke ridnour .. ive always loved his game.

  • http://heckler@aol.com Heckler


    yall are tooo young to be writing and posting on here. anyone under the age of 30 should no longer post on this site. your too young to know shit!


  • JR

    Bruce Seals should make the list!

  • zbo


    DIME doesn’t target 30+ yr olds.

  • Chaos

    what about downtown freddie brown. he was before my time but my dad and mom (yes my mom, she was a BIG fan of his) used to show me old footage of him shooting lights out.

  • Eric Nichols

    As an LA fan, I know you are young, but when I think of the Sonics, I think of Dennis Johnson, Jack Sikma, Downtown Fred Brown, and Gus Johnson. I don’t care if you’re two years old, know your history playa.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Of course I know about Sikma and Slick and those guys, but they won’t be my favorite players if I never saw them play.

  • bisexual bridal shower

    motherfucking scheffler

  • Magicman101

    This is a joke… Lewis, Ellis and Baker were way better then you give them credit for.

    Besides that good list.

  • http://www.chazkemp.com Chaz Kemp

    Are you kidding me with this list? Hmmmm – Just covering the Sonics from the last 25 years leaves out the team that won an NBA championship – you know… that team that sported the likes of Jack Sikma, Gus Williams, Dennis Johnson & Marvin “The Human Eraser” Webster. They had that one guy coaching them at the time… what was his name… Oh ya – LENNY WILKENS!

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Apparently I should have explained the difference between “favorite” and “best.” That’s kind of sad.

    @Chaz Kemp — I was born in 1982. Twenty-five years pretty much covers my entire memory as a basketball fan.

  • Brickshooting J

    LOL @ “there’s gonna be consequences and repercussions.”

  • http://dpgrecordz.com DPGC

    No matter what, Ruben Patterson was a great player for the sonics. That dude played his heart out every damn night.

    1. GP
    2. Reignman
    3. Kobe-stopper