Kevin Pelton, SUPERSONICS.COM
| September 18, 2006
A couple hundred Seattle SuperSonics fans crowded the Magnolia Community Center Saturday as the Sonics & Storm Legends Tour resumed after two weeks off, honoring Sonics stars Slick Watts and Spencer Haywood. As the two loquacious stars took the microphone, emphasizing the importance of ensuring the Sonics stay in Seattle, it was quickly apparent just why they owned the city of Seattle during their time with the Sonics.
"You want to keep our team here?" asked Haywood. "Then we've got to fight!"
"I loved being a Sonic and I still love being a Sonic," added Watts, who spoke passionately about the importance of professional basketball to the young people of the Seattle area. Sonics President and CEO Wally Walker introduced Watts as "one of the great advocates in this area for professional basketball."
Most of all, Saturday was a time to remember an era when the Sonics were the only major professional team in Seattle and players and fans formed a tight bond as a result. Haywood reminisced about living in the Magnolia neighborhood, along with numerous other Sonics players, when he played in Seattle.
Walker also shared Haywood's impact on him as a young player after calling the All NBA First-Teamer "the first superstar in Sonics history." In Walker's dorm room at Virginia, he recalled, he had posters of two NBA players - one of them Haywood. Watts too grew up with Haywood as a hero before the two Mississippi natives became teammate with the Sonics.