Throughout NBA history there were many interesting and in some way bizarre teams that left their mark on the game. One of those teams that are not so often talked about is the 1986/87 Seattle Supersonics. There are several peculiar things about this team that NBA fans should be aware of because this team achieved something that doesn’t happen very often.
The first thing that made the Sonics special from the rest of the NBA is that they are the only team in NBA history who had three players that averaged more than 23 points per game for the entire season. Dale Ellis had 25 points per game, Tom Chambers 23.3 and Xavier McDaniel averaged 23 points for the entire season.
Even though they had three players that scored efficiently and played in all 82 games, the Sonics finished the season with a 39-43 record which is below the .500 mark. What is even crazier is that this team actually made the Western Conference Finals that season. They had quite of a run in the playoffs beating the 55 win Mavericks and the Houston Rockets that had 2 All-Star players in Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson. Prior to the beginning of the season, the great Red Auerbach said this team will have the worst record in the NBA but they managed to surprise everybody after they made the playoffs.
In order to emphasize how unbelievable their run was, no team with a losing record has won a single playoff series until that point. The Supersonics won two playoff series but fell short to the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference finals where they got swept.
There are also a few other interesting facts about this team. Nate McMillan was at that time a rookie on this team and they also featured a player named Michae Phelps. This was also their first year without their first star Jack Sikma, but the Sonics improved their regular season score and eventually made the Western Conference finals.
This team is often neglected among NBA historians but their feat should get more recognition. This team obviously struggled during the regular season and barely made the playoffs, however, they came to play at the right time and surprised everyone except the Showtime Lakers who won the NBA championship that season.