Shawn Kemp is still a legend in these parts as many recall fond memories of him putting getting on that magic carpet and riding in a Seattle Sonics uniform. Like Gary Payton, Kemp is a part of the Sonics' history, and many still associate him with the team. He's one of us; always has been and always will be. But when the Oklahoma City Thunder invited Kemp to sit courtside during their NBA playoff series with the Denver Nuggets, Kemp was faced with a decision: Symbolically support the franchise taken from Seattle or take a stand.
In an interview with Dave "Softy" Mahler and Ian Furness Kemp revealed his decision, and it was the right one
But on the other hand, wouldn't it have been cool to see Kemp sitting courtside, rocking old-school Sonics gear? The boys from Sonicsgate took up the cause in Denver in an effort to keep Seattle's history alive and remind fans watching at home where the Thunder came from while showing some Seattle pride.
Kemp being invited to sit courtside by the Thunder brings up another prickly issue we've seen play-out throughout the playoffs. Kemp is part of Seattle lore, not Oklahoma City lore. He has no ties to the current Thunder, but still holds plenty to the Sonics. So why, then, were the Thunder trying to parade him around courtside if he has little to do with the franchise?
Good on Kemp for turning it down and taking a stand, at least in a symbolic sense.