Last night, Jack Sikma was entered into the NBA Hall of Fame. Other names in his 2019 Class included Vlade Divac, Sidney Moncrief and Teresa Weatherspoon.
When Sikma entered the league as the 8th pick by the Sonics in 1977, he had a distinctive ‘Dutch look’, as he had blonde hair with quite a typical Dutch haircut (as you can see in the photo above). He soon traded this style in for his blonde afro, which he would sport throughout the rest of his career. His Dutch appearance didn’t come out of nowhere, as his grandparents originally were from the Netherlands, but immigrated to the US years before.
Sikma was definitely an unknown quantity when he was drafted, as he had attended a NAIA college, Illinois Wesleyan, and no one knew how his game would turn out in the NBA. It didn’t take long before Sikma was able to make a name for himself in the league, and eventually became a 7-time All-Star and won a championship with the Sonics. Two years after Sikma and the Sonics won a title, he asked for a trade, as he wanted another chance to win a title. The move was not surprising at all, as most of his teammates had already left the team, and the Sonics had just finished another 51-game losing season.
Though NBA basketball has disappeared from Seattle, Sikma is still an icon for the city, as he was part of the reason that the Sonics turned into a championship contender, and eventually won the title in 1979. To this day, Sikma’s influence can still be felt in the NBA, as he was one of the first sharpshooting big men in the league, but maybe more because his signature move is still used by modern players.
If you see a player get the ball with their back to the basket, pivot, and then take a step-back, ball behind the head jumper, you’ll have to remind yourself that Jack Sikma did it first. And was pretty good at doing it as well.