ATLANTA – As I looked around the Seattle Storm’s locker room after the champagne had settled and the reality that the Storm had won the 2010 championship set in, I couldn’t help but think of all the great stories throughout the room.
- Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, champions in 2004 who had to deal with five consecutive first-round exits following that initial triumph. As Bird said tonight, she was so sick of talking about those losses year after year. Never again. Now, both players have continued to cement their places as the great winners in WNBA history.
- Swin Cash, who won her third championship, each of them in a different role. Cash was the young star in 2003. By 2006, her time in Detroit had begun to sour. This is a story of redemption, of how Cash remade herself a better player after back surgery and an invaluable member of the Storm.
- Le’coe Willingham, who won back-to-back championships with two different teams. Yes, Coe, you’re going to see Obama again.
- Tanisha Wright and Camille Little, the new Storm stalwarts who had never tasted this level of success before and might have been more excited than anyone. Add Ashley Robinson in that group too as a Storm veteran.
- Svetlana Abrosimova, who chose the Storm in large part because she wanted to enjoy the same success in the WNBA she did at UConn. That choice looks pretty good now.
- The rookies: Jana Vesela, Alison Lacey and Abby Bishop, who are – as Jackson pointed out to Bishop in the hotel – one-for-one on winning WNBA championships.
- Brian Agler, who has two titles from the ABL but put together a WNBA team to match or even surpass those great Columbus Quest squads.
- Nancy Darsch, who has been here before (she coached the New York Liberty to the very first WNBA Finals in 1997) but come up empty.
- Jenny Boucek, who is as crucial as any member of the coaching staff even if she wasn’t allowed to be a part of road games.
There are so many things to say about this team, which takes its place among the great teams in WNBA history. Those will have to wait until after the party. For now, we celebrate.
Share your thoughts below.
EDIT: And this is why I don’t normally post while I’m in a hurry to attend championship parties. I forgot the closer! Of course, the best story of all is Force 10 Hoops LLC and the four local businesswomen who bought the Storm to keep the team in Seattle. Force 10 is the first all-female ownership group to win a championship in any sport, as well as the first independent ownership group to win a WNBA title. If that isn’t worth celebrating, I don’t know what is. Kudos to Dawn Trudeau, Ginny Gilder, Lisa Brummel and Anne Levinson. Thanks to the commenters who pointed out my gaffe.