SuperSonics Kick Wilkens Upstairs

Associated Press

The Seattle SuperSonics, who suffered through a 31-51 record this season, fired longtime Coach Lenny Wilkens Wednesday and immediately named him general manager of the National Basketball Assn. team.

In a major reshuffling for the franchise, Les Habegger was demoted from general manager to director of player personnel.

"I think the team will be best served by this," owner Barry Ackerley said. "That's why I did it." He said a new coach will be named after the June 18 NBA draft.

Wilkens, 47, coached 13 years in the NBA, including the last eight at Seattle. He directed the Sonics to the 1978-79 NBA championship.

Ackerley, who bought the Sonics from original owner Sam Schulman just before the 1983-84 season, declined to say why he was moving Wilkens upstairs.

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