Our very first Double Happy Sonics Birthday to two of the best shooters that have ever put on the Sonics jersey, and I’m going to assume the only day where we have 2 olympians! Hersey Hawkins (46) and Kevin Durant (24)! Hersey lives in Arizona, and recently helped coach the Portland Trailblazers summer league team. The Sonics acquired Hawkins and David Wingate for Kendall Gill in 1995. Hawkins was then traded after the 1999 season to the Chicago Bulls for Brent Barry. Hawkins played 4 seasons with the Sonics, and started almost all of the games he played for them. He was the starting SG against the Bulls in the NBA Finals. A couple of years ago he played in Hoopfest with Team Fresno in Spokane. KXLY interviewed him and he touched on the Sonics a bit, you can see that video here.
Kevin Durant turned 24 today, and he plays for some team in the mid-west somewhere. I will always remember Durant for his open love to the Sonics and Seattle region when he was drafted and throughout that year in Seattle. I will especially never forget him standing and encouraging Sonics fans chanting “Save Our Sonics!” in the last game of the season. Luckily, someone took a video of it (and was probably sitting right near me in the “Save Our Sonics” section which was put together by the great group at SonicsCentral).
I really believe that if Durant had remained in Seattle he would have been the largest superstar this city has ever seen. Larger than Griffey, Kemp and GP in the 90’s. This is a region that loves it’s basketball and worships it’s stars. Durant could have left a legacy here, and instead we’re all wondering what could have been. But, I will never forget his one year here, and to me he’s always a Sonic.
*Also thanks to Aaron Padoshek for allowing me to use his birthday cake. You can check out his Flickr account here.