December 2, 2023

Sonics Legend, Seattle Icon Slick Watts suffers Stroke


(Seattle, WA) You don’t have to be a Sonics fan or even like basketball to know who Slick Watts is or what he means to the city of Seattle and the State of Washington.

Monday night Watts’ son Donald Watts announced on his Twitter feed that his Dad had suffered a serious stroke over the weekend. Watts reported that his father is in serious but stable condition and he is facing a lot of rehab. Here is the total text of Donald Watts’ tweet:

“Calling all my Prayer Warriors… Pops suffered a major stroke on Friday and is in stable condition on a long road to recovery… We are big believers in the power of prayer & positivity… We ask you to send positive vibes not only to Slick but to all who are suffering”

Watts was an undrafted free agent out of Xavier college in Louisiana when then Sonics coach Bill Russell gave him a try-out after getting tipped off about Watts from Xavier’s head coach Bob Hopkins who was Russell’s cousin. Watts made the team and eventually earned a starting spot in for the 1975-76 season where he became the first player in NBA history to lead the league in both assists and steals.

The 70-year-old Donald Earl Watts picked up the name “Slick” for his signature shaved bald head and sweat band. The clean shaved head is now en vogue but in the mid-70’s Watts was a trend setter. 

Due to injuries Watts would retire from the NBA after short stints with the New Orleans Jazz and the Houston Rockets. He would become a PE teacher and taught for 20 years at Martin Luther King Jr elementary before retiring in 2017. He also was the head basketball coach at Franklin High school.

Watts maintained a high profile lending his celebrity to a number of charitable causes all around the Puget Sound area. 

Watts’ family asks for prayers and positive thoughts and they plan on battling through this next challenge.