Renowned basketball author Jonathan Abrams’ oral history of the rise and fall of the 1990s Seattle SuperSonics is a fascinating, honest and thoroughly entertaining read.
No lie. This was originally supposed to be a Grantland story. That’s how long it’s been in the works. https://t.co/4S65stgsAK
— Jonathan Abrams (@Jpdabrams) April 12, 2017
In this piece, former Sonics GM and president Bob Whitsitt recounts one particular Payton-to-Kemp alley-oop that, well, coulda been their best ever:
“Gary and Shawn once prearranged some play so they could get some footage for a shoe commercial one of them was working on. Gary had a breakaway layup and Shawn was trailing and nobody was in sight. Gary throws it off the board so Shawn could follow with one of his thunder dunks. It’s probably one of the only open dunks in Shawn’s career that he missed. It was one of those ones where the ball goes flying to half court type of deals, and the other team grabbed it and took it in to score. I thought I was going to have to call the paramedics and/or the police, because George Karl was ready to explode. He was as red as a tomato. If I had to guess, we probably won the game, but I thought, oh gosh, we are gonna have a cleanup to do in aisle 12 in the locker room after the game.”
If you watch the footage, it went down almost exactly as Bob describes:
— The Locker Room (@DT_LockerRoom) April 13, 2017