Behind the Numbers: Earl Watson

Earl Watson: #25

THE PLAYERS
Behind The Numbers
Gilbert Arenas 0, Wizards
Marcus Banks 3, Timberwolves
Mike Bibby 10, Kings
Andrew Bogut 6, Bucks
Kobe Bryant 8, Lakers
Jarron Collins 31, Jazz
Tony Delk 00, Pistons
Melvin Ely 2, Bobcats
Pau Gasol 16, Grizzlies
Manu Ginobli 20, Spurs
Drew Gooden 90, Cavaliers
Grant Hill 33, Magic
Royal Ivey 36, Hawks
Linton Johnson 43, Hornets
Dikembe Mutombo 55, Rockets
Eric Piatkowski 52, Bulls
Paul Pierce 34, Celtics
Shavlik Randolph 42, Sixers
Earl Watson 25, Sonics

Jeff Reinking/NBAE/Getty
Sonics guard Earl Watson is wearing #25 in the Green and Gold for the second time.

A member of the Sonics as a rookie in 2001-02, Watson returned to Seattle in a four-team trade last month. Watson has worn the number 25 since long before joining the Sonics, and his preference dates back to a childhood hero.

"I grew up in Kansas, in Kansas City," says Watson. Danny Manning won the tournament his senior year [with Kansas in 1987-88]. I worked at his summer league every summer at the scorer's table, running the shot clock, and he was always really nice to me. I was a big fan anyway, but because of his personality, I became an even bigger fan."

More than a decade later, Watson joined Manning in the NBA and had a chance to meet him again.

"My first year, I think he played in Phoenix," Watson says. "I talked to him then, and he remembered me."

Watson wore 25 after signing with the Memphis Grizzlies, but switched it up to #8 after joining the Denver Nuggets last summer.

"Something different," he explains. "I just wanted to do something different. I think change is always good, but when I came to Seattle, I wanted to go back to 25."


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