You can figure that sports fans in the city of Seattle have to be plenty sore about the Oklahoma City Thunder being in the NBA Finals. How are former Seattle SuperSonics legends reacting?
Chris Tomasson of FOX Sports has this report where he got reactions from multiple Sonics legends. First let's start with Jack Sikma, who played ten seasons in Seattle, was an assistant coach from 2003 to 2007, and won an NBA championship in 1979. Sikma isn't happy at all with the situation.
"To tell you the truth, I was rooting for San Antonio (in the Western Conference finals against the Thunder). I still have a bad taste in my mouth," said the big man, who starred for the SuperSonics from 1977-86 and had his No. 43 raised to the rafters in Seattle not long after he retired from the NBA in 1991. "I am rooting for the Heat. I coached (Miami forward) Shane Battier for 3½ years in Houston (as an assistant). ... It pours salt in the wounds of the situation that we have now (with the Thunder in the Finals)."
Detlef Schrempf played in Seattle from 1993 to 1999 and was involved in the team's last NBA Finals appearance when they were the Sonics, and seems to take a more detached and pragmatic outlook at what's going on and focus on what other people did to enable Seattle to leave the city.
"It's not the same team," Schrempf said. "There's nothing left from the Sonics, really. There's no tradition. It's a totally new organization, a different city.
"I don't think they stole our team. It's a business. The NBA is making money. It's not a charitable organization. Somebody saw an opportunity to buy a team and bring something to their city. I don't see them (stealing) our team. We gave it away. Our leadership gave it away. Our politicians gave it away. We screwed up (by not agreeing to build a facility to replace outmoded Key Arena)."
And let's not forget about Gary Payton, the Glove, who is tired of living in the past and is ready to move forward and get a new team in Seattle as soon as possible.
"I don't care anymore about Oklahoma City leaving from Seattle," Payton said earlier this week on KGMZ-FM 95.7 in San Francisco. "It's over now. It could be a big difference if they're called the Oklahoma Sonics. They're not. ... People keep saying we're sad. OK, it is what it is. But it's over.
"So I really don't care about them leaving Seattle. We're trying to get another team in Seattle now. So that's what our main focus is about."