Friday , Jul , 06 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Wilkens resigns as Sonics vice chairman

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Former Seattle player and coach Lenny Wilkens,
a Hall of Famer, resigned as vice chairman of the SuperSonics on Friday.

It’s the latest in a wave of changes for the team. A day earlier the Sonics
named P.J. Carlesimo head coach, and last month the team named Sam Presti
general manager.

“After much contemplation, I have decided to resign from my position as vice
chairman of the Seattle SuperSonics,” Wilkens said in a statement. “My passion
for this city and this franchise has never wavered, but I feel that my
position within the organization did not develop the way that I thought it
would. I am extremely competitive, I’m driven to win and I have a deep passion
for the game. I wish the Sonics well in the future.”

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, 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 New York.

“Lenny Wilkens has been a valued advisor to me since we first purchased the
Sonics and Storm almost a year ago,” team chairman Clay Bennett said. “His
insight into basketball and the Sonics legacy in Seattle helped us greatly as
we retooled our basketball operation. He has been an important resource and
connection to the community as we continue in our efforts to secure the future
of the Sonics in Seattle. I thank Lenny for his service and wish him the very

Seattle finished 31-51 last 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.

The team then made moves on draft day last week, selecting Kevin Durant with
the No. 2 overall pick and trading veteran guard Ray Allen to Boston in a deal
that landed the Sonics forward Jeff Green in the draft.