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

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

In Uniform

A collection of news and events about and for active duty military and veterans.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Soroptimists honor Navy Junior ROTC commander

Soroptimist International of Everett recently recognized Everett High School Navy Junior ROTC… Continue reading

For happy, nervous teens, it was a big day to be in the band

Nearly 2,000 students from 17 schools gather in Everett for the Puget Sound Festival of bands

Most Read