Lenny Wilkens and Spencer Haywood are two of the former Sonics legends who will be honored before the Mariners' game Friday night at Safeco...
Lenny Wilkens and Spencer Haywood are two of the former Sonics legends who will be honored before the Mariners’ game Friday night at Safeco Field. On Wednesday, they talked about the good old days and the future of the NBA in Seattle during an exclusive live online chat with readers.
Q. Do you believe Seattle will get an NBA team within three years?
Lenny Wilkens: Well, I think that three years probably will be pushing it a little bit. I think five years is more likely when it could happen.
Spencer Haywood: I’m going to beg to differ. I think it will be two years. The price is right, and let’s move New Orleans maybe? Or Sacramento is stuck without a home. And didn’t Paul Westphal play here? Move the team back here, but where will it play?
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Q: Lenny, would you have any interest in being a coach or GM of a new Seattle NBA franchise?
Wilkens: I would be very interested in the front office, either as a general manager or consultant. I think that would be very good. I loved coaching, but I don’t think I want to do it any more. (laughter).
Q: Have either one of you been contacted by the Oklahoma City franchise to make an appearance with them?
Haywood: I haven’t.
Wilkens: No. Real simple answer.
Q: Lenny, what was the one thing you remember most about the 1978-79 season?
Wilkens: What I remember most was that when I took over the team (the previous season), it was 5-17. And the general manager from Denver said the Sonics were the worst team he ever saw. And from that point on, we won 10 straight and we went to the Finals. That was just incredible.
Q: What do you think of Isaiah Thomas’ chances of success in the league?
Wilkens: I think that Isaiah Thomas has the desire and the athleticism to play at the pro level. I think that, more than likely, he’ll be a role player for some team. But what’s even more important is that he be at the right place at the right time. Going to the wrong team could set him back, in a sense that he wouldn’t get the playing time necessary to develop.