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SuperSonics acquire Lenny Wilkens on October 12, 1968.

HistoryLink.org Essay 3058 : Printer-Friendly Format

On October 12, 1968, the Seattle SuperSonics send Walt Hazzard to the newly relocated Atlanta Hawks for All-Star point guard Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens continues his All-Star ways after his move to the West Coast, making three consecutive All-Star appearances from 1969-1971, earning All-Star Game MVP honors in 1971.

Starting with the 1969-70 season, Wilkens served as the SuperSonics' player-coach, and thanks in part to his own excellent play on the court, he coached the team to its first winning season (47 wins, 35 losses) in 1971-72. Strangely enough, he was traded in August 1972 to Cleveland for guard Butch Beard, who played one unspectacular season for Seattle.

Wilkens is one of only two people enshrined at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach (John Wooden is the other). Wilkens was an All-Star nine times, finishing his career with averages of 16.5 ppg (points per game), 6.7 apg (assists per game) and 4.7 rpg (rebounds per game). His 1,210 (and, in 2001, counting) career coaching victories are an NBA record.

Sources:
(www.supersonics.com); Seattle SuperSonics 1999-2000 Media Guide ed. by Marc Moquin (Seattle: Full House Sports & Entertainment, 1999); The Sporting News Official NBA Register, 1998-99 edition, ed. by Mark Bonavita, Mark Broussard, and Brendan Roberts (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1998); The Sporting News Official NBA Guide, 1998-99 edition, ed. by Mark Broussard and Craig Carter (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1998).


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Future Seattle SuperSonics coach, Lenny Wilkens
Courtesy The Seattle Times


 
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