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Without Baker, Sonics exceed expectations

With a surprising playoff run, Gary Payton and the Sonics have perked up the ears of Seattle's latte-loving fans.

Updated: March 15, 2002, 3:34 PM ET
By Frank Hughes | Special to ESPN.com

Earlier this season, when you looked around the Seattle SuperSonics' home of KeyArena, it felt like you were attending a WNBA game. There were so many empty red seats, you could almost say it was the parting of the Red Key.

Sonics owner Howard Schultz could not figure it out. After all, he had called almost every season ticket holder personally and asked their opinions about the team. He had made improvements to both the arena and the atmosphere around the organization. He had showed he ...

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