With training camp opening last night, media coverage is back in full swing. Stay tuned for Around the Web bringing you the best stories and multimedia around the Storm on a regular basis all season long.
Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times was busy over the weekend anticipating the start of training camp with a variety of features. First, a look at the Storm’s role in putting together the WNBA and new league president Laurel J. Richie, who begins work today.
Storm president and CEO Karen Bryant said she and the ownership group looked across the table at each other and knew Richie had to be in the pool of candidates for the WNBA job that Donna Orender had resigned in December after six years.
“I loved her story,” Bryant said of Richie. “She has a commanding presence, and she has a really unique combination of confidence and humility. … Afterward she told us, ‘I’m definitely going to a game.’ She was somebody I was going to stay connected to, there’s no question. When I met her and took her card, I took that card with a purpose. I would have gone to a game with her in New York and I still will, but now I’m her guest.”
Evans also previewed the Storm’s training camp and an important theme: familiarity.
“We’re a little, old happy family here in Seattle, it’s kind of weird,” said center Ashley Robinson, one of six players who’ve been on the Storm roster since 2008. “I’m not used to professional teams being this close.”
Lastly, today Evans looks at the chances of Seattle University product Breanna Salley making the Storm’s roster.
Players were whipped through a 3 ½-hour session focusing primarily on offense. It worked to Salley’s game as she drained three-pointers and jump shots. She played with the other rookies against a male practice squad to conclude the opening session.
“She can shoot the ball,” Storm veteran Ashley Robinson said. “She seems like she works hard, that high-energy type person. So I wish her the best of luck. If that (shooting) is what they want her to do, she showed what she can do. I don’t think she missed a three-pointer.”
On Sports Press Northwest, Seth Kolloen muses about ways to deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder’s deep playoff run – headlined by following the Storm.
Here’s the only thing I can think of to do: Throw the weight of my basketball jones into our one remaining professional basketball team–the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm, who I’ve followed intermittently since the Sonics’ departure. Happily, I bought Storm season tickets for the first time this year, and am looking forward to their season opener June 4th, which would be smack in the middle of the NBA Finals. (Though, may I respectfully request to the Storm in-game entertainment crew that they refrain from their traditional playing of AC/DC’s Thunderstruck?)
One of today’s big stories in the sports world is Phoenix Suns (and Mercury) President and CEO Rick Welts declaring publicly for the first time that he is gay. Welts is a Seattle native who began his career with the Sonics, first as a ballboy, before joining the league office in New York (where he famously was behind the expansion of the All-Star Game to All-Star Weekend). He chose to tell his story with the full support of friends, including former Sonics Head Coach Bill Russell and NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Mr. Stern did not find the discussion with Mr. Welts awkward or even surprising; he had long known that his friend was gay, but never felt that he had license to broach the subject. Whatever I can do to help, the affably gruff commissioner said. He sensed the decades of anguish that had led the very private Mr. Welts to go public.
After what needed to be said had been said, the two men headed for the door. And for the first time in their 30-year friendship, they hugged.