SuperSonics promote Wilkens
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Former Seattle player and coach Lenny Wilkens
was promoted to president of basketball operations by the club on Friday.
Wilkens, who first came to Seattle in 1968 as a player and then led the
franchise to its only championship in 1979 as a coach, will also remain vice
chairman of the team and will continue to report directly to chairman Clay
Wilkens is the all-time winningest coach in league history with a career
record of 1,315-1,133 with Seattle, Portland, Cleveland, Atlanta, Toronto and
“Lenny is a tremendous asset to our organization and he has proven to be an
invaluable advisor in his role as vice chairman,” Bennett said. “Lenny’s
experience and insights into the NBA and professional basketball will be very
helpful during this transitional period. Lenny and the other members of our
basketball operations group will be working with us to improve the team and
return the Sonics to prominence in the league.”
Friday marked the latest in a series of changes for the Sonics. On Tuesday,
they announced that head coach Bob Hill will not return to the team next
season and pushing general manager Rick Sund into a consultant role for the
remaining year of his contract.
As the president of basketball operations, Wilkens will play a key role in the
search for a new GM and head coach.
Seattle finished 31-51 this season, losing its last five games while posting
the second worst record in the Western Conference. This was Seattle’s worst
mark for a full season since an identical 31-51 mark in 1985-86.
Last week, Bennett announced that the team will pursue other ideas for a new
arena, including relocation. Key legislators announced a week ago that the
Washington State Legislature will not vote on a plan for a new arena for the