Sonics Update

  • Saturday, January 19, 2002 9:00pm
  • Sports

Opponent: Philadelphia 76ers

When: 11 a.m., Monday

Where: First Union Center, Philadelphia

TV: NBC (Ch. 5)

Radio: KJR (950 AM)

Left at home: Seattle’s Vladimir Radmanovic entered Saturday’s game tied for sixth in the NBA’s 3-point shooting rankings. Radmanovic, the rookie from Yugoslavia, had converted 36 of 78 chances from behind the stripe for a 46.2 percentage, tying him with Milwaukee’s Ray Allen for No. 6.

Despite Radmanovic’s prowess, he was not invited to participate in the upcoming 3-point contest at the NBA’s All-Star weekend on Feb. 9-10. And Sonics coach Nate McMillan, for one, cannot understand the omission.

“Radmanovic is right up at the top in 3-point shooting,” McMillan said. “And he wasn’t asked to participate. However they make the decision to select the players, he wasn’t a part of it. What can you say?”

If it was up to McMillan, “I would think you’d take the high percentages,” he said. “And if that’s not the case, I don’t know how they make the decision.”

Bobble, bobble: Fans weren’t camped outside KeyArena, like they were at Safeco Field last summer to acquire Ichiro Suzuki bobblehead dolls.

Still, a good many Sonics fans had their eyes on the Gary Payton bobbleheads given away by the Sonics to the first 10,000 fans entering KeyArena for Saturday night’s game. The last bobblehead was given away at 6:25 p.m., or approximately 45 minutes before tipoff.

Those fans that were denied will have other chances later in the season. The Sonics will give away bobbleheads of Rashard Lewis on Feb. 16 (game vs. Boston), Desmond Mason on March 22 (Houston) and McMillan on April 17 (Memphis).

Less-than-packed houses: In terms of attendance, the Sonics aren’t the worst, but they are far from the best among NBA teams.

Heading into Saturday’s game with Denver, the Sonics were averaging 14,302 fans in 18 home games to rank 24th out of 29 teams. Only Atlanta, Charlotte (soon to be New Orleans), Cleveland, Houston and New Jersey had lower per-game averages.

The NBA average for attendance before Saturday’s game was 16,518.

A year ago, the Sonics sold out 17 of their 41 home games. This season, Seattle had sold out four of 18 home games heading into Saturday’s game with Denver.

Rich Myhre

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