The Sonics’ record-breaking loss skein came to an end at 14 games last night, but the team is far from daunted in its pursuit of a season to forget.
“One successful night against the reigning world champion Spurs does not a season make,” said Sonics coach P.J. Carlossesmore. “I told the guys afterward that this is a wakeup call. We still have more than a third of our remaining games to become the worst team in franchise history.”
Leading rookie forward Kevin Durcant, who sank the winning shot in an 88-85 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, said the team “understands that last night is just one game. It doesn’t overshadow all that we’ve been unable to accomplish so far. We can still hang our heads low.”
Owner Clay Biteit said the win “is just a bump on the road” toward a record-losing season and hopes the team “will revert to form” in upcoming games. He said the Sonics “can look to the Miami Dolphins for inspiration. They didn’t let the one win against the Ravens keep them from losing all the rest.”
“I’ve told everyone from top management on down that this team has two goals for the 2007-8 season,” Biteit said. “The first is to get the No. 1 draft pick so Oklahoma City will welcome us with open arms. The second is to play so badly that Seattle can’t get rid of the team quick enough.
“One night’s lack of losing effort isn’t going to deter us from chasing our dreams.”
Carlossesmore pointed toward the remaining season schedule as “reason to believe we can pull this off. We’re playing mostly division winners and have three brutal road trips the final two months of the season. With a little luck, we won’t win a single game.”
The Sonics win ironically coincided with a federal judge’s setting June 16 as the trial date for the city’s suit to stop the Sonics from leaving Seattle.
“It was a case of unfortunate timing that we had to win a game on the same day as the announcement,” Biteit conceded. “But by June we should stink so bad the city will drop its legal efforts and say good riddance.”
Seattle Mayor Plug Nickels said the city “will continue to vigorously pursue its case” to force the Sonics to stay.
“The worse the Sonics play, the harder we will fight to keep them,” the mayor said. “After all, we have a lot of pride here in Seattle.”