Wilkins has mixed emotions about team’s move
Published 8:38 am Saturday, July 5, 2008
By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Damien Wilkins will no longer be a member of the Seattle SuperSonics. Then again, neither will any of his teammates.
As Wilkins was headed to Sea World to spend a day with his son, Jayden, the Washington native and four-year NBA veteran was still trying to come to grips with his team’s move. SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett settled a lawsuit with the city of Seattle, clearing the way for him to move the team to Oklahoma City.
Wilkins and his teammates will begin play in Oklahoma City in the 2008-09 season.
The 6-6, 225-pound forward/guard, who wears No. 21, said he’ll miss the fans in Seattle.
Bennett’s deal with Seattle called for the team colors, logo and name to stay in Seattle.
Does it almost seem like this will be an expansion season for Wilkins and his teammates?
The Sonics, which went 20-62 last year, haven’t been to the playoffs since Wilkins’ rookie season in 2004-05. Seattle went 52-30, won the Northwest Division and lost in the Western Conference semifinals that year.
Seattle went 35-47 in 2005-06 and 31-51 in 2006-07.
While the bulk of the SuperSonics will still be playing together, only in a new city, Wilkins likened the move to a trade. Wilkins said he’ll have to get used to not wearing the customary green and gold of the SuperSonics.
Wilkins, who is averaging 8.0 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game in his career, has played in 269 games with Seattle. He has started 81 of those games, including 31 last year.
While Wilkins, who poured in a career-high 41 points in a win over Atlanta last year, will miss Seattle, he’s trying to put a positive spin on the move.
Wilkins did a lot of charitable work in Seattle through his Dyna2mic Foundation. He’s not sure how the move will impact his work in Seattle, but he does plan on continuing to give back no matter where he’s located.