It’s been 10 years since Gary Payton was traded from the Seattle SuperSonics to the Milwaukee Bucks, ending a golden era in the Northwest and essentially choking the life out of basketball in Seattle.
Five years after that the Sonics were gone, hustled to Oklahoma City by owner Clayton Bennett just two years after he purchased the team from Starbucks mogul Howard Schultz. Payton’s departure, although the deal included former Celtic Ray Allen, extinguished the personality of the franchise. While Allen and Rashard Lewis helped the Sonics to the Western Conference semifinals in 2005, the franchise never regained the swagger and identity it possessed during the Payton years. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Gary Washburn can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @gwashNBAGlobe. Material from interviews, wire services, other beat writers, and league and team sources was used in this report.