Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| October 7, 2006
With fans crowding the NeighborHoops court at the Green Lake Community Center Saturday morning, the Sonics & Storm Legends Tour honored the two coaches to bring championships to Seattle. Lenny Wilkens
coached the Seattle SuperSonics to the 1979 NBA Championship, while two years ago Thursday Anne Donovan
's Seattle Storm won the WNBA Championship. The two championship trophies were on display Saturday during the seventh stop of the Legends Tour.
"I always thought that to be recognized in the company of legends, you had to be dead," Wilkens joked in beginning his speech. "Fortunately, this came early."
"I've coached in three places, and there's no better feeling than the one that we have in Seattle."
Naturally, talk of championships carried the day.
"It doesn't seem so long ago," Donovan told the crowd, "winning that championship - feeling that confetti come down."
It has been a long time - 27 years since Wilkens' championship, but he too recalled the moment, describing the championship parade in downtown Seattle as "kind of a love-in." He also pointed out that winning a championship is "never as easy as people think."
The other theme was the coaches celebrating Seattle fans and community and thanking them for their support.
"I've coached in three places, and there's no better feeling than the one that we have in Seattle," Donovan said. "For all you that are a part of it, thank you."
"No matter where I've been coaching, I've always made my home in Seattle," said Wilkens, who will become the Sonics FSN color analyst this season. "This is where I want to be.
"We want to show everyone that the Sonics and Storm belong in Seattle."
While Wilkens talked about how much he enjoys watching the Storm play, Donovan called Wilkens something of a role model in coaching.
"Lenny was somebody who I watched as a player and coach who I modeled myself after," said Donovan, citing Wilkens' character.
The Legends Tour continues next Saturday at White Center Community Center with Sam Perkins.