Payton with the Miami Heat in 2007
Karl coaching the Denver Nuggets in 2011
Payton (left) during his stint with the Lakers
Karl with the Nuggets in 2009
Payton playing in the NBA Asia Challenge 2010 in the Philippines

In 1996, Payton and the SuperSonics, under coach George Karl, reached the NBA Finals after winning a franchise record 64 games and lost in six games to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls.

- Gary Payton

Led by All-Stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, the latter named Defensive Player of the Year, the SuperSonics defeated the Sacramento Kings three games to one in the first round, and then swept the two-time reigning champions Houston Rockets to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

- George Karl
Payton with the Miami Heat in 2007

4 related topics

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Milwaukee Bucks

American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee.

American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee.

Toni Kukoč playing for the Bucks.
Michael Redd playing for the Bucks.
Brandon Jennings
Giannis Antetokounmpo
Milwaukee Bucks wordmark, 2006–2015.
Milwaukee Bucks wordmark, 2015–present.

In 1998, the team hired veteran coach George Karl, who had reached the NBA Finals with the Seattle SuperSonics.

During the 2002–03 season, the Bucks traded Ray Allen and backup Ronald "Flip" Murray to the Seattle SuperSonics for Gary Payton and Desmond Mason.

Seattle SuperSonics

American professional basketball team based in Seattle.

American professional basketball team based in Seattle.

Tom Meschery, Bob Rule (SuperSonics) and Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia 76ers) in 1967
Lenny Wilkens in 1968
Jack Sikma in 1978
In 1980, the Seattle SuperSonics' total attendance exceeded that of all other sports or shows held in the Kingdome.
George Karl served as Seattle's head coach from 1992 to 1998.
Vin Baker was an NBA All-Star with the SuperSonics during the 1997–98 season.
Kevin Durant (pictured in 2014), who was drafted by the SuperSonics in 2007
Over most of the franchise's history, Seattle played its home games at KeyArena.
Squatch wearing the Sonics' home uniform in 2005

The SuperSonics began setting a new foundation with the drafting of forward Shawn Kemp in 1989 and guard Gary Payton in 1990, and the trading of Dale Ellis and Xavier McDaniel to other teams during the 1990–91 season.

It was George Karl's arrival as head coach in 1992, however, that marked a return to regular season and playoff competitiveness for the SuperSonics.

1996 NBA Finals

The championship series of the National Basketball Association 's 1995–96 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs.

The championship series of the National Basketball Association 's 1995–96 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs.

The SuperSonics were led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, with George Karl as head coach.

1991–92 Seattle SuperSonics season

The 24th season for the Seattle SuperSonics in the National Basketball Association.

The 24th season for the Seattle SuperSonics in the National Basketball Association.

After splitting four games under interim coach Bob Kloppenburg, the Sonics hired George Karl, who returned after a four-year absence from coaching in the NBA.

Derrick McKey provided the team with 14.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, but only played 52 games due to a thumb injury, while Benoit Benjamin provided with 14.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, second-year guard Gary Payton contributed 9.4 points, 6.2 assists and 1.8 steals per game, and Michael Cage averaged 8.8 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.