Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp’s first thoughts after they found out Seattle will lose the Supersonics: “Keep hope alive. We want to get our number retired in Seattle.”

Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp’s first thoughts after they found out Seattle will lose the Supersonics: “Keep hope alive. We want to get our number retired in Seattle.”

The Seattle Supersonics were one of the most recognizable teams throughout the ’90s. Despite winning an NBA championship back in 1979, the franchise was most popular because of their dynamic duo Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. They brought the crowds to their feet with their spectacular plays on both ends of the floors and were pretty much the first thing that came to everybody’s mind when talking about the Supersonics. After it was announced the team was moving to Oklahoma City, both Kemp and Payton were the first ones to raise their concerns about this move.

In an interview on the Best Damn Sports Show back in 2008, Payton said they don’t feel it’s fair the people of Seattle are losing the franchise. On top of that, Kemp and Payton didn’t feel comfortable getting their jerseys retired in another city in front of people that they didn’t have any personal connection. Since they both started everything in Seattle, they hoped to get their jerseys retired in front of people that went through the success and failure alongside with them.

“Keep hope alive. Shawn knows it; we want to get our number retired in Seattle, so right now I’m not feeling comfortable with going no where else because I don’t think it’s far, and I hope Shawn feels the same way. I don’t think. It’s also not fair for the Seattle people. To go somewhere else and have a ceremony of something that we started in Seattle. We loved the fans, and the fans loved us. We want to get back to them and let them see our number getting raised in the rafters in their city.”

Kemp said that ever since they both joined the team as young players, the only thing that was on their mind to see their jerseys hanging from the rafters.

“Me and Gary talked about it when he came from the Oregon State. Looking up there one day and seeing our jerseys up in the banners. “

Seattle is still without an NBA team, and even though there were several requests to bring back the Supersonics, it seems that it will not happen anytime soon. There were several different variations on how potentially the Supersonics would be revived, but the reality is those were just ideas that never came to fruition. The NBA would be more interesting if it had the Supersonics back, a team that was worshiped by numerous NBA fans back in the ’90s until they ceased to exist in 2008.