Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, and Jack Sikma. To see Senate resolution, click here.
OLYMPIA – Jack Sikma, one of the standouts on the legendary Seattle SuperSonics team that captured the 1979 NBA title, was honored by the Washington Senate Thursday on his upcoming induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
In remarks to the Senate, Sikma recalled that when he was drafted by the Sonics 42 years ago, “I said Seattle isn’t my first choice.” He has since had opportunity to change his mind.
Today Sikma is as much a part of the fabric of Seattle as the Space Needle, remembered for his role in the Sonics’ turnaround that sent them to the NBA Finals in 1978 and won them the championship the following year. The Senate Thursday passed a resolution highlighting the career accomplishments that have propelled him to the highest of honors. Sikma will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 6.
“I think every one of us remembers where we were in 1979 when that championship game was played,” said Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, who sponsored the resolution with Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle.
“Is there anyone in Washington state who wasn’t watching the game that day? Jack Sikma’s outstanding performance helped carry the day, and every one of us who saw it will never forget it. He has been a hero to many, an inspiration to some, and today I am proud to shake his hand.”
Sikma is the second future hall of famer honored by the Senate this month. Edgar Martinez, formerly of the Mariners, received a similar resolution in advance of his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July.
Sikma played 14 years in the NBA, nine of them with Seattle before being traded to Milwaukee. Nearly every season he helped lead his team to the playoffs. Following his retirement in 1991, he returned to the sideline as an assistant coach with the Sonics in 2003. Today he is a coaching consultant with the Toronto Raptors.
Sikma’s Sonics team is long gone, having departed Seattle for Oklahoma City in 2008. Efforts to restore NBA basketball in Seattle so far have stalled.
“Jack Sikma’s elevation to the Hall of Fame is a reminder of what the Sonics were, and could be again,” Sheldon said.
As he met with senators and staff in the Senate chamber, Sikma said the best hope for revival of the franchise is to lure a team from another city. “There’s one more thing left to do, and that’s to get ‘em back,” he said.
Sikma on the Senate rostrum.