The Seattle Supersonics (NBA LIVE 96)
Led by the awesome foursome of Payton, Gill, Schrempf and Kemp, this team wasn't even hampered by the fact that the painfully immobile Nate McMillan was their center. Payton was easily the third best point guard in the game, behind only John Stockon and the infamous underachiever Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway (Apparently Penny's deal with the devil lasted only until the 1997 season) Payton was a great 1 man, and provided tenacious D. In short, he was the kind of leader that every video game team needs. Kendal Gill wasn't anything special; just a solid shooting guard who complimented the Sonics triangle offense nicely.
But the real bread and butter of this team was the play of their fowards, Detlef Schrempf and Shawn Kemp. These guys were probably the most entertaining NBA tandem in their hey day, long before Dirk Nowitski and Steve Nash took that fateful trip to a Dallas bar
that would provide numerous losers like me great pictures to put up on their desktop. But in the mid 1990's, it was all about the "Kemp/Schrempf" connection. These guys really should have had a sitcom (Next week . . . on a very special SONICS . . . Detlef and Shawn accidently vacation in a nudist colony!) But I digress . . . Schrempf a 6'8'' German guy, unintentionally doing the best Ivan Drago imitation i've ever seen, could hit threes from ANYWHERE on the court, and once Kemp got below the foulline, you just KNEW he was going to score. These two guys could dominate an entire game, as evidenced by the countless hours I spent (and still spend) playing this classic game.
My favorite personal memory of this game is when I was 11, I my Ewing/Starks Knicks up against this vaunted Sonics team, manned by my buddies Billy and BD. (EA SPORTS 4 Way PLAY . . .Aruguably the most important video game invention of the mid 90's) With 37 seconds to go in the 4th, I was losing 117-80. Kemp and Schrempf had taken every single shot for them and their team was shooting 100 percent for fgs and three pointers . . . I swear, this is no lie. In an act of desperation and jealousy, I flagrantly fouled Schrempf while he attempted a three pointer. My actions had three seperate, yet equal reactions. 1. Schrempf flew halfway across the court, as NBA Live players were prone to do back then. 2. The shot was a brick. 3. Billy and BD both starting yelling at me and made me leave the room. My subsequent osctrization from the group was well worth the looks on their faces as the ball clanged harshly off the rim. I think they are still bitter today.
It's sad how it all turned out though. Gill became a video game cocaine and was beating his video game wife, Jouanna Mann. Kemp became addicted to painkillers and video game donuts, and starting fathering illegitimate video game children all over the United States. The saddest case of all is Detlef's. After the 1998 Season, Detlef was deported to his homeland of Germany where he was forced by the oppresive German political machine to become the generic bad guy in Frontline: Medal of Honor.
Oh how the mighty have fallen . . . .
Catch me soon for part 2 . . . .