Last week, the basketball world was abuzz with news that the owners of the Sacramento Kings were in the process of finalizing the sale of the franchise to a Seattle-based ownership group. The upshot of the apparent deal, while far from sealed, was that it would effectively mean the return of the Seattle SuperSonics next season.
With this in mind, Bidding Basketball has scavenged eBay’s “infinite inventory of NBA junk” for rare, memorable and/or quirky basketball memorabilia to find items to assist Seattle fans looking to update (or retrograde, I suppose) their wardrobe should the team return to the city. Hopefully this piece doesn’t jinx it.
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Live Auction: RARE Vintage Seattle Sonics World Champs 1979 Snapback Hat Yellow Supersonics
Buy It Now: $74.99, plus shipping
In terms of Seattle sports history, the 1978-79 SuperSonics are the Space Needle pinnacle. The team was the first (and only) in franchise history to win an NBA title, and, save for the 1917 Metropolitans’ Stanley Cup victory, the only team to win a championship in Seattle.
In hindsight, this feat was especially notable given that the Sonics’ roster lacked a single superstar player. The team was instead led by a balanced scoring attack consisting of Hall of Fame guard Dennis Johnson (before he became a Celtics legend), All-Star center Jack Sikma, leading scorer Gus Williams, guard Fred Brown, power forward Lonnie Shelton, reserve center Tom LaGarde and forward John Johnson – all of whom averaged greater than 10 points during the 78-79 regular season.
Entering the playoffs as the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, the Sonics handled the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-1. In the Western Conference Finals, conversely, the Phoenix Suns pushed Seattle to seven games. A career performance from Jack Sikma (33 points, 11 rebounds) finished the Suns off in the deciding contest.
The victory set the stage for a rematch of the 1978 NBA Finals, in which the Washington Bullets defeated the Sonics in a tightly contested 7-game series. Game 1 went much same as the year previous as the defending champions won 99-97 after Larry Wright hit two free throws with no time remaining. The loss did not deter the Supes, however. They carried Games 2 and 3 rather handily, winning by 10 and holding Washington under 100 points in each. Game 4 was once again a close one, but another double-double from Sikma helped Seattle edge the Eastern champs, 114-112 in overtime. In Game 5, the Sonics were able to close out the Bullets, 97-93, and secure the NBA World Championship after clawing back from an eight-point deficit at half. DJ was named Finals MVP, averaging 22.6 points, six rebounds, six assists and 2.2 blocks in the series.
As mentioned above, the Sonics have yet to repeat as NBA champs, so should fans wish to commemorate the accomplishment, they’ll have to settle for this vintage yellow snapback.