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Another Title? Stellar Season For Sue Bird And Seattle Storm

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
Seattle Storm's Alysha Clark, left, Natasha Howard, Sue Bird (10) and Breanna Stewart come off the bench to greet teammates during a timeout in the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Connecticut Sun on Friday, June 15, 2018, in Seattle.

The Seattle Storm is on fire this season with the best record in the WNBA. And three Storm players were named league All-Stars this week: Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd. For Sue Bird, it’s a season of records as we hear from KNKX sports commentator Art Thiel and Morning Edition host Kirsten Kendrick.

Bird – Bringing It

“Sue is just bringing it this year,” Thiel said. “At age 37, she’s accomplishing major things.”

“This is her 11th All-Star appearance (a league record) and when she plays two more games, she’s going to be the all-time WNBA leader in games played with 500. All in Seattle.”

“This is Edgar Martinez-level of loyalty and affection that she’s getting from her fan base.”

“She’s accomplished so much. Two WNBA titles with the Storm. Four Olympic gold medals.”

“And now, this far into a career, she’s still leading the league in assists. This is her highest average – 7.1. She just had 11 assists the other night, which was a season high.”

Stewart Favorite For WNBA MVP

Bird’s fellow teammate Breanna Stewart is also an All-Star. Thiel says she is the odds-on favorite for Most Valuable Player this season.

“She’s averaging a league-high 22 points a game. And she just put together back-to-back 30-point games, which is really hard to do,” he said.

“The only other Storm player who’s ever done that has been Lauren Jackson. This is clearly the best post player the Storm have had since Jackson.”

“This is her second All-Star game. She’s really been a dynamic force.”

Jewell In The Triple Crown

“Jewell Loyd is turning into a great complement for (Sue) Bird in the backcourt – scores, rebounds and passes the ball well.”

“She’s a very balanced player and contributor. And that’s really been a highlight development for this year’s Storm team.”

Coach Ties It Together

“Having a good post player and a strong backcourt is the recipe for success. I think another aspect of this is their first-year coach Dan Hughes, who’s been a long-time figure in the WNBA.”

“He’s coached more games than any other coach in league history. And, at 63, he’s on top of his game and really seems to be making a big difference in cohesion.”

“This team was 15-19 a year ago. Barely made it into the playoffs…and were dispatched by Dallas in the first round.”

“Hughes has to be given credit for a team that I think has got as good a chance as the Bird-Jackson tandems in 2010 that won the last WNBA title for Seattle.”

“I see this team going a long way. And a title may be imminent.”

Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Sports With Art Thiel on iTunes or Google Play. You can find Thiel's work at Sportspress Northwest and Crosscut.

Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Art Thiel is a co-founder and writer for the rising sports website Sportspress Northwest. In 2003 Thiel wrote the definitive book about the Seattle Mariners, “Out of Left Field,” which became a regional bestseller. In 2009, along with Steve Rudman and KJR 950 afternoon host Mike Gastineau, Thiel authored “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists,” a cross between and Mad Magazine that has become mandatory reading for any sports fan who has an indoor bathroom.