June 1, 1979: Seattle SuperSonics win NBA title

On June 1, 1979, the Seattle SuperSonics became world champions.

It was the last day of the National Basketball Association’s championship series (a rematch of 1978 finals) and the team took home its first title in a 97-93 win against the Washington Bullets in Landover, Maryland – the opposing team’s home court.

That night, it was what the 1979 Herald staff called “party time” in Seattle and beyond as thousands of fans gathered to salute their team.

Here’s what two staff reporters wrote in the next day’s paper:

“It was 9:30 p.m. on a hot muggy Friday evening and the Seattle SuperSonics were champions of the world.

Champions of the world, dig it!

‘We did it. We did it. We really won the thing,’ cried a young fan who came bounding down First Avenue in Pioneer Square. ‘I’ve been following the Sonics ever since they came into the National Basketball Association 12 years ago and it’s finally happened.’

‘We’re number one!’

World champs.

Sonics.

Champs.

The story continued:

“Seconds after the championship was clinched, the city began a celebration the likes of which haven’t been seen in the Pacific northwest since V-J Day at the end of World War II.

Pioneer Square erupted into a Vesuvius of emotion and color. Trendy people pouring out of the bars at the game’s conclusion danced victory jigs with not-so-trendy bums. Strangers hugged total strangers and the din of honking horns could be heard in every part of the city.

Revelers, fueled by beer, rushed out into streets to slap hands with passing motorists and an old man was handing out strips of green crepe paper to all takers.

‘We’re number one. We’re number one. We are number one one one one one,’ shouted one man – Bob Gent of Seattle – as he was kissed by a comely woman. ‘Do you think Lenny Wilkens (Sonic’s coach) could beat Dixy Lee Ray (Washington’s governor in 1979) if he ran for governor?’

‘You bet!’

See the June 2, 1979 edition of The Herald in our collection of historic front pages.

Also, look through our collection of Sonics photos from 1967 to 2008.

And here’s some KIRO video from the final game and the celebration that followed:

More in Local News

Army nurse from Everett has vivid memories of ‘forgotten war’

Barbara Jean Nichols, 95, served near the front lines in Korea and Vietnam, and in Germany.

In county overdose crisis, nasal spray has saved 100 lives

About 900 local law enforcement officers have been trained to use naloxone to revive opioid users.

Second former student files abuse claim against teacher

The woman says Cascade High School’s Craig Verver had sexual contact with her on campus.

Man arrested after allegedly threatening people near EvCC

The community college was briefly on lockdown Thursday morning.

Edmonds to add bike lanes in two areas

Crews will begin the first phase of work Thursday and Friday, weather permitting.

Woman fatally shot at home near Everett

Another woman and three children, who were also in the home, were not injured.

Woman injured after losing control of her pickup

A 50-year-old woman was injured Tuesday after her pickup lost… Continue reading

Freshwater invertebrates found in local water bodies

Bryozoans are tiny invertebrates that live in jelly-like masses, and their presence is a good thing.

Front Porch

EVENTS Sk8 Fest returns to Arlington The Centennial Sk8 Festival celebrating longboards… Continue reading

Most Read