Jack Sikma Rumors
Former Seattle SuperSonics great Jack Sikma is always on the search for a worthy cause. Sikma learned ex-teammate and basketball Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens was to be honored for his charitable work at a Sunday dinner hosted by Rise Above, a nonprofit partnering with the Kalispel Tribe to empower Native American youths. Flanked by former Seattle players Dale Ellis and Spencer Haywood at the fundraiser, Sikma was pleased to accept an invitation.
Sikma still laments the Sonics’ move as a franchise to Oklahoma City, and he credited Milwaukee for not suffering a similar fate when the Bucks were at risk of relocating. Sikma remains hopeful Seattle can attract another NBA franchise. “I’m waiting for the day when (NBA commissioner Adam Silver) brings it up and says something internally in the league is being considered,” he said.
Sikma said he is rooting for the Bucks as Milwaukee competes with Phoenix in the NBA Finals. “I’m sure glad they won Game 3,” said Sikma, who won an NBA title with Seattle in 1979. “But that happens when you get to the Finals. You want to hold court at home and steal one on the road. They didn’t do that the first couple games, but I’m rooting for the fans of the city.”
In the first 11 seasons of his career, Sikma had attempted 68 3-pointers. He had made just seven of those attempts. Despite those struggles, Sikma understood what his coach was thinking and decided to take up the challenge. In his 12th NBA season, Sikma attempted 216 3-pointers, easily the most by an NBA center in a single season to that point. The following season, the future NBA Hall of Famer took 199 more before taking 135 in a smaller role in his 14th and final NBA season.
It wasn’t your first year in Milwaukee and it wasn’t Del Harris’ first year as coach, so what made you two decide it was time for you to start shooting threes in 1988? Jack Sikma: It really had to do with my skill set and the roster makeup. I think there were some matchups from some of the other positional players where we felt they had advantages in the post and they were good post players. I’m talking about Terry Cummings. A lot of times we’d put him in the post to get his matchup. Ricky Pierce, Paul Pressey. By then, Sidney (Moncrief) was gone, but we had a number of guys that from a matchup standpoint, Del felt we could use that in the post.
How did defenses react to it? You mentioned not having many contested 3-point attempts. As the season came on, did defenses respect you as a shooter? Jack Sikma: It was pick your poison. Teams that decided they were going to stop the 3-point shot made themselves more vulnerable to whatever teammate I had that we wanted to use in the post-up situation. It was dictated by the gameplan of the opposing team. In the pick-and-roll game at that time, the way that it was played, they didn’t really worry too much about the big popping to the three. That didn’t happen. You were going to stop the penetration of the ballhandler with some help and then once that’s under control, you’d recover late. It’s played a little bit differently nowadays for those guys that can drill the three. The bigs gotta get back to them a little bit quicker. And when I say wide-open threes, it’s just I never tried to make a basketball move where I would free myself up off the dribble to get a three. That just didn’t make sense.