As the WNBA wraps up its 15th season, ESPN.com is taking a look at the best champions in WNBA history. Mechelle Voepel put the 2010 Storm fourth and the 2004 Storm 14th (yeah, that’s last). Michelle Smith thought higher of the Storm, putting the 2004 team 11th and last year’s record-setting team atop the list. Her explanation:
The conventional wisdom is that today’s WNBA is a stronger, deeper league with more talent than it had in its early days. Eleven-player rosters have left plenty of talented, capable players on the outside looking in. Making a roster in the world’s best league is as difficult as it has ever been.
And yet Seattle was the best team in 2010 by a wide margin. The Storm set the league record for regular-season victories with their 28-6 finish. They finished 21-0 at Key Arena (including the postseason), playing impeccably in front of what can be argued is the league’s most supportive fan base.
Readers also have a chance to weigh in. Rank your favorites on SportsNation, where the 2010 Storm currently leads in first-place votes and overall points.
This month’s Seattle Business magazine highlights the Storm’s ownership group in a detailed feature that is well worth your time.
In a professional sports world where attendance has declined across the board and player lockouts have become dinner-table discussion topics, the Seattle Storm has experienced an increase in attendance and season-ticketholder retention. According to the organization, gross revenues have risen 76 percent in three years. Corporate sponsorship of the team has similarly increased, and the organization touts strong community partnerships. But the real thrill and challenge in the niche-market Women’s National Basketball Association—since its teams already play the best women’s basketball in the country—is to make the league a viable, respected, enduring business.
The women-owned Storm franchise is pulling its share of the load. And, says co-owner Dawn Trudeau of the organization’s business model, “It’s working.”
Jayda Evans caught up with Sue Bird after her hip surgery to get more details on the procedure and her recovery.
“It’s one of those things where you cross that bridge when you get there,” said Bird of ever needing surgery on the left hip in the future. “I much more lucky than Lauren was in that the season is not going on right now and I’m trying to race back to try and help the team. I have the time, so I’m definitely going to use that time. I’m not in any kind of rush other than I want to be ready when I go to Russia.
“The doctor really talked to me and said he thinks come early December, I’ll be ready to go. That will even give me extra time to get into shape and what not. That’s my time frame, but I have to say, I feel pretty good so far. The non-weight-barring stuff kind of sucks, but other than that, it’s not so bad.”
This week was the last edition of Bird’s fun season-long “Dishin’ It” Q&As with the Seattle Times.
Q. How would you rank this season to the other seasons?
Bird: It was one of the more challenging seasons because of the cards that were dealt to us for such a long period of time. There are times during a season where you lose players for two weeks. In Lauren’s case, in 2008 and ‘09, we lost her at the end. But it wasn’t nearly as long as it was this year.
There’s apparently been more progress on a deal that will bring Lauren Jackson back to the Australian WNBL with the Canberra Capitals starting next season and running three out of four years, with an opportunity to play in Europe at some point during the contract. The Canberra Times has the latest.
The Capitals want to finalise Lauren Jackson’s record WNBL contract in the next two weeks and have the superstar in Canberra for the impending announcement of a three-season deal.
Jackson is back in Australia for two weeks after the Seattle Storm was knocked out of WNBA title contention.
WNBA.com is counting down the top 15 moments in league history presented by Boost Mobile, as voted by fans, and Bird’s All-Star assist to Jackson in 2003 checks in at No. 8.
A former Storm player in the news: Shannon Johnson, who retired after playing the 2009 season in Seattle, has joined the coaching staff at Northwestern State.
Lastly, a fun article that has a Storm tie. The UW website profiles Craig Heyamoto and the crew that keeps stats for Husky football games. Heyamoto and several members of the crew fill the same duties at Storm games and are responsible for ensuring that the final box score you see after each game at KeyArena is accurate.