For Avery Johnson, the Seattle-Dallas game Sunday night is a sentimental one. In 1987 after going undrafted out of Southern University, Johnson was signed by the Sonics and played here for two years. But unless there is some kind of miracle or the courts force the Sonics to stay in Seattle until their lease expires in 2010, they will be headed to Oklahoma City next year.
"It's pretty emotional for me," Johnson said. "Maybe if it had not been for Seattle, I wouldn't be here doing this interview. I had a chance to enter the NBA here 20 years ago, so to see and hear alll the things that’s going on with the team about possibly moving doesn't really sit well with me. But, again, a lot of this stuff is out of our control. I believe in my heart that the city of Seattle deserves an NBA team."
The Sonics seem to be responding to the moment. With an enthusiastic crowd chanting "Save our Sonics" periodically, the Sonics are ahead of the Mavericks 73-66 with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
-- Jan Hubbard