It’s hard to surprise Sue Bird, but I think I did before tonight’s game against Detroit when I asked Bird about having a teammate besides Lauren Jackson (Swin Cash) join her in the All-Star Game for the first time. Bird had no idea she and Jackson had been the only Storm All-Star representatives.
“I didn’t even realize that,” Bird said in the Storm’s locker room before warming up for the game. “I think it’s great. The more the merrier. I guess it puts more pressure on us to win the game with three All-Stars.”
With three teammates in the starting lineup, Bird joked the West All-Stars should run Storm plays. Above and beyond the prospect of having another teammate alongside her, Bird was pleased for her close friend to get back to the All-Star Game for the first time in 2005.
“I’m really just happy for Swin,” said Bird. “She’s more than deserving. For her to go through some injuries and some tough times only to bounce back and be back in the All-Star Game, I think it says a lot about her and her ability to come through that adversity. I’m really proud of her. The fact that it’s in Connecticut is just an extra bonus.”
Bird has been voted a starter for every All-Star Game in her WNBA career, six and counting. That doesn’t make the experience any less sweet for her.
“It’s exciting,” she said. “I was asked, ‘Is it getting old?’ It’s definitely not. It’s something that I’ll never take for granted. It’s an honor to be involved in the game. It’s an honor to know how I got there, that people voted. It’s an event that’s always fun, and I’m looking forward to it.”