NBA legend Lenny Wilkens received his latest honor Saturday night — a street named after him running alongside what will eventually be a rebuilt KeyArena.
The announcement was made Saturday night by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan at a Lenny Wilkens Foundation gala auction, the final one Wilkens, 81, is helping organize. Wilkens recently announced he’ll be stepping away from the foundation after 40 years to spend more time with his family.
Lenny Wilkens Way is to run parallel to what’s now being called Seattle Center Arena as it undergoes a $930 million refurbishment. Which street it will be is yet to be determined. The arena will play host to an NHL team starting in October 2021 and those doing the rebuilding hope that an NBA team is soon to follow.
Durkan made the street announcement in a videotaped address during Saturday night’s event, saying she can’t wait for “the Sonics to come back to play alongside Lenny Wilkens Way at Seattle Center Arena.’’
Wilkens, the Hall of Fame player and coach, guided the Seattle SuperSonics to their only title in 1979. He has long lobbied for an NBA team to return to Seattle. He sat on a city-appointed arena advisory committee looking at bids to restore KeyArena to modern-day standards for major sports teams.