Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp Return to KeyArena to Coach Seattle Pro-Am

Former Sonics Players Come Home to KeyArena July 10 for Storm, Seattle Pro-Am Double-Header

SEATTLE – Former Seattle SuperSonics players, Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, will team up to serve as honorary coaches during the Seattle Pro-Am double-header. In partnership with the Seattle Storm, the Seattle Pro-Am will open their season at KeyArena following the Storm game on July 10.

“Seattle has a rich history of professional basketball, with the Seattle Storm continuing the tradition,” said Payton. “It is an honor to be a part of this exciting double-header and to be able to come back to KeyArena and coach.”

Payton and Kemp are returning to KeyArena to honor Seattle’s professional basketball. The duo led Seattle to its first NBA Finals appearance (1996) since the Sonics’ championship win in 1979. That same season (1995-96) Payton, Kemp and the Sonics brought Seattle 64 wins, a franchise record.

“The Seattle Storm and the Seattle Pro-Am are giving back to the Seattle community in a big way,” said Kemp. “It will be a great night, coming back to KeyArena to see the Storm play and then see the men take the court. I am looking forward to reuniting with Gary and coaching the Pro-Am.”

A member of the 2013 induction class of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Payton spent 13 of his 17 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics. Totaling 21,813 career points and 8,966 career assists, Payton led a prolific professional career. Payton is the Sonics’ all-time leading scorer, a nine-time NBA All-Star (1994-98, 2000-03) and two-time All-NBA First Team (1998, 2000). Payton is the only point guard to win NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1995-96)—earning his nickname “the Glove”– and is a nine-time All-NBA Defensive First Team. After his tenure with Seattle, he moved on to play for the Milwaukee Bucks (2003), the Los Angeles Lakers (2003-04), the Boston Celtics (2004-05) and the Miami Heat (2005-07) where he won the 2006 NBA Finals.

Affectionately known as ‘The Reign Man,’ Kemp played eight seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics and a total of eight seasons in the league. Kemp made his professional debut in 1989 where he was drafted 17th overall to Seattle. In his career, Kemp scored 15,347 points, 8,834 rebounds and played in 1,051 regular season games. Kemp is also a six-time consecutive NBA All-Star (1993-98) and one of the 16 members of the SuperSonics 40-year anniversary team.

Tickets for the event are good for admission to both the Seattle Storm game and the Seattle Pro-Am game, and can be purchased at or by calling 206-217-9622 (WNBA). The Storm game will tip off at 7 p.m., immediately followed by the Seattle Pro-Am. NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens will be the honorary coach of the other Seattle Pro-Am team on July 10.

The Storm announced on June 29 that Chris Hansen’s Seattle Arena Group purchased 2,000 tickets for the double-header.

Members of the media who wish to cover the event MUST send requests to the Storm Public Relations Department at