Barely 24 hours from tipping things off! Here’ your reading material to pass the time.
The Seattle Times has its annual preview section, highlighted by a feature on how the Storm will go about trying to win another championship.
Ah, the remix. Agler, also the Storm’s director of player personnel, retained the core orchestrators of the championship, giving a hefty raise to sixth-year post player Camille Little and a longterm agreement to Cash in free agency. Then Agler called in the big names to fill voids left by key backups Svetlana Abrosimova (Russia) and Jana Vesela (Czech Republic), who are both currently playing for their national teams in pursuit of an Olympic bid this summer.
Katie Smith came in a three-team trade, and Australian Olympian Belinda Snell joins her as another big name on the bench.
Is it enough?
Aaron Lommers of the Everett Herald is now keeping a Storm blog and looks at the team’s final roster.
Be sure to pick up this week’s Sports Illustrated, on newstands now, for a WNBA preview from Andrew Lawrence. Here’s Lawrence’s piece on how the Storm is thriving in Seattle under the independent ownership of Force 10 Hoops LLC.
Bennett stayed true to his word, selling the team for $10 million to a group of four local businesswomen in 2008. Since then the Storm—one of seven independently owned WNBA franchises—has, thanks to the ownership group’s strong ties to the Seattle business community, increased franchise revenues by 75% and transformed the team into the hottest ticket in town. Says Bryant, “Shortly after the team was purchased in ‘08, we stopped talking about whether we were going to make it and started to ask ourselves, How big can we be?”
The great Mechelle Voepel looks at the Storm reloading on ESPN.com and highlights the members of the team’s core who don’t always get as much credit.
All three, along with Agler, also would stress the nut-and-bolts, gritty contributions of starters Tanisha Wright and Camille Little, along with reserve Le’coe Willingham.
“I look at Tanisha, Le’coe and Camille as really the culture of our team,” Agler said. “They’re vitally important to us. We have our stars out there, but we also have a group of people who really thrive on doing the dirty work, the little things it takes to win.”
Then Agler laughs and adds, “But I do have to say our stars are really like that, too.”
WNBA.com previews the 2011 Storm season.
No one ever said it was easy to repeat as WNBA champions, but on paper it would appear as if the Storm are prepared to do just that. It’s a grueling season riddled with the day-to-day soreness and injuries that crop up throughout. Untested roster depth is the perceived Achilles’ heel of the Storm, but if the team comes up healthy heading into the postseason, other teams may be looking to duck and cover.
Tim Booth of The Associated Press follows up the season preview by highlighting Smith and what her addition means.
When three-time U.S. Olympian Katie Smith steps onto the court for the Seattle Storm in their WNBA season opener Saturday it’ll be for less money than she could have gotten elsewhere. It could be in a reserve role after starting 412 of the 417 total games she has played in the league.
But her attitude about all that can be summed up with: “So what?”
There are tons of league previews today, of course. Dishin’ N’ Swishin’ has the Storm defeating Indiana to win the title. WNBA.com’s Frank Della Femina says the new-look Lynx could knock off the Storm. Rebecca Lobo, who is in town to call tomorrow’s game with Dave Pasch for ABC, puts the Storm atop her list of the best teams to watch.
Lastly, a new season means the Storm is back on Northwest Sports Tonight on a weekly basis. Sue Bird joined Paul Silvi in the studio yesterday.