Game Day against the Minnesota Lynx. The Storm will be without Lauren Jackson, and Jayda Evans’ story in today’s Seattle Times focuses on what that means:
Storm coach Brian Agler will start forward Le’coe Willingham in place of Jackson. Willingham (6 feet) gives the Storm (3-2) a smaller lineup against the Lynx (5-1) in a rematch of Seattle’s 81-74 loss to Minnesota at KeyArena on June 9 — Seattle’s worst game of the season.
“Unfortunately, we’ve been here before and we have to bring some toughness to the game, but Le’coe and I are tough enough and we can get it done,” said Storm forward Camille Little, whose team is 17-23 all-time without Jackson in the lineup.
ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel writes that, after a challenging start to the 2011 season, the Storm is beginning to come together in the wake of Tuesday’s win in Tulsa.
“They played awesome, and that’s what we needed as a team,” Jackson said of watching her teammates find a way to victory without her Tuesday. “I think it was a mentality, ‘Let’s just get it done.’”
Credit for that was spread around the whole Storm locker room. Bird and Cash had led the way with a combined 38 points and 10 assists — Cash also had nine rebounds — but everyone who got into the game contributed something for Seattle.
Storm color analyst Adia Barnes was a guest on the Dishin’ & Swishin’ show with David Siegel to talk about the Storm and her new job as an assistant coach with the University of Washington. Take a listen.
Speaking of the Huskies, they filled out their staff with Megan Osmer as director of basketball operations. Like Barnes, Osmer – formerly an assistant at San Jose State University – has ties to the Storm. She interned with the Storm marketing department in 2004 while in college. Her sister, Stephanie, was also an intern for the Storm’s training staff.
WNBA.com is going through the candidates for the Top 15 Players in league history and higlighting them one by one. Today, it’s Storm guard Sue Bird.
A member of the WNBA’s All-Decade Team named in 2006, Bird also earned First Team All-WNBA honors in each of her first four seasons in the league and Second Team honors in 2008 and 2010. A two-time Olympic gold medalist and a six-time WNBA All-Star, Bird has teamed with center Lauren Jackson to bring the Seattle Storm a pair of league championships (2004 and 2010). She enters the 2011 season ranked second on the WNBA’s all-time leaders in assists (1,615) and in the top 20 in points (3,603) and steals (423).
Also, don’t miss Lois Elfman’s story for Hoop Magazine about Katie Smith as part of the mag’s 15 for 15 celebration of the WNBA’s anniversary.
With her ABL and WNBA points combined,5 Smith is the all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball, with 5,760 WNBA career points heading into the 2011 season. While she is proud of her individual accomplishments, which includes being named to the WNBA’s All-Decade Team, she is more eager to reflect on the WNBA titles she won with the Detroit Shock in 2006 and 2008.6
“Obviously, it was special,” Smith says. “You play to win. You want to win a championship. You also understand at the end of the day if you didn’t get one by the time your career is up, it does not mean your career is a failure. Sometimes it’s circumstance. It just wasn’t in the cards.