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The Boston Globe


Sunday Basketball Notes

Departure from Seattle bad memory for Gary Payton

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 Payton’s departure 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 exit, 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.

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