“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.“
– Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching
The mid-’90s Sonics never won the chip, but in fairness, they were victims of some horrible luck. In 1994, they lost to a really good Denver Nuggets team in the first occurrence of an 8-seed beating a 1-seed and then ran threw the West two years later only to run into MJ’s ’96 Bulls.
The squad had Gary Payton and some other decent players including Detlef Schrempf and an aging Sam Perkins, but their MVP was undoubtedly Shawn Kemp. Kemp was more than a beast. He was big but agile. Powerful but quick. Explosive but serene.
And he made posters out of plenty of people. It was unsustainable, his decline was inevitable. But for a few brief years, Shawn Kemp terrorized the NBA.
So take the next ten minutes and fifty seconds to bask in glory of The Rain Man.
Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.