It was 34 years ago this June that the Seattle Supersonics won their only NBA Championship with a win over the Washington Bullets.
After the Sonics victory on June 1, 1979, fans across Seattle celebrated. Thousands poured into Pioneer Square. And fans were glued to KIRO 7 for the post-game trophy presentation.
The footage of the Supersonics championship game and trophy presentation was saved in the KIRO archive since 1979. We pulled the tape again this week, and have posted it here for Sonics fans who want to reminisce.
The footage, which was broadcast on CBS with Brent Musburger and Rick Berry providing commentary, is broken up into three videos here: the fourth quarter, the post-game celebration, and KIRO footage of the June 4, 1979 victory parade that brought thousands of fans to downtown Seattle.
The Sonics, led by NBA Hall of Fame coach Lenny Wilkens, came back from a 51-43 halftime deficit. They gained momentum after Fred Brown finally gave them a 70-69 lead in the fourth quarter.
As the final four seconds were counted down, point guard Gus Williams heaved the ball into the air – a move later recreated by kids on playgrounds around Seattle.
Earlier this week, investor Chris Hansen told KIRO 7 that loyal fans will have to be patient, but he’s sure a team will return through NBA expansion within five years. Hansen also said he would not aggressively go after a team like he did with the Kings. Sonics fans learned earlier this month that the team would stay in Sacramento.
“We’re moving at a breakneck pace to try and get this done,” he said.
As for the 1979 Sonics Championship trophy? It’s on display at the Museum of History and Industry, which also is preserving other Sonics memorabilia on loan from Oklahoma City.