It's hard to believe, but the NBA season is just around the corner (no, not that corner; that's curling). We don't know about you, but we've barely had time to miss Ron Artest and Mark Cuban before they're back again. And that's a good thing. So let us celebrate with five tiny tidbits on each team, today continuing with the Pacific Division and Niles Crane's favorite team, otherwise known as the Seattle SuperSonics. We'll rip through the rest of the Pacific D. this week (Lakers and Clippers), so do us a favor and send us your tips on those teams via firstname.lastname@example.org.
• 1. Being Danny Fortson. Everyone's raving lunatic, Danny Fortson, is mercifully in the final year of his seven-year, $38 million contract. In 2005-06, $6.4 million bought Sonics fans 276 minutes of court time and, at no extra cost, several insane diatribes against the refs, his teammates and team management. On January 17th, "The Baddest Man in Pigtails" announced that he was "about to flip out." He didn't play again in 2006, citing a knee injury of dubious severity. Fortson, who has requested a trade, is unlikely to get it. He'll make $6.6 million in 2006. (Thanks to Seth Kolloen).
• 2. Quiet On The Set.You probably knew that guard Ray Allen played the character Jesus Shuttlesworth in Spike Lee's film He Got Game. But did you know that the high school used in the film was really Abraham Lincoln High School, located near Coney Island? Well, YOU DO NOW.
• 3. Block Party. Mouhamed Saer Sene, who was born in Senegal, has what many believe is not only the largest wingspan in the NBA, but also in all of the animal kingdom, at 7-feet, 9 inches. The only ones greater are those of the condor (9 feet), the albatross (11-1) and the male trumpeter swan (8 feet).
• 4. Oklahoma!. Many Sonics fans believe that the franchise has one foot in the ancient Key Arena, and the other in Oklahoma City, where new owner Clay Bennett will probably move them once Oklahoma City's current tenants, the NOOCH, return to Louisiana. Seattle fans have formed Save Our Sonics and Storm to fight the rumored departure.
• 5. Wilkins Family Reunion. Rashard Lewis was named after former NFL player and current sportscaster Ahmad Rashad. Damien Wilkins is the son of former NBA veteran Gerald Wilkins, and the nephew of nine-time NBA All-star Dominique Wilkins.