The Seattle Storm announced today that veteran point guard Sue Bird will undergo surgery and miss the entire 2013 WNBA season. Bird, who competed in her 11th season with the Storm last year, will have a cyst on her right knee removed. A specific date for the surgery has not been announced; recovery and rehabilitation from the procedure is expected to last six months. Bird led the Storm to WNBA titles in 2004 and 2010 and has made seven All-Star appearances.
Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts.”
Paul Simon, “Boy in the Bubble”
With three seconds to go in the one-point deciding game, Lauren Jackson, arguably the best women’s basketball player in the young 21st century, had the ball on the right block, where she’s had it many times before.
Tina Thompson, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, became the first player in league history to break the 7,000 career-point barrier Tuesday. The historic bucket came less than one minute into the second quarter of the Seattle Storm's 75-60 thrashing of the visiting Chicago Sky.
So here’s the plan: Team USA wins Olympic gold, sparking some serious interest in women’s basketball. Then, when the WNBA gets back at it Aug. 16, new fans flock to a thrilling final five weeks of play as teams battle it out for a spot in postseason.
The WNBA West doesn’t have the most compelling narrative arc. Minnesota, the defending champs, are the best team in the league. The Tulsa Shock are the worst. Phoenix has so many injuries the Mercury can’t really be expected to compete, and the other three teams – L.A., Seattle and San Antonio – alternate between pretty good and mediocre.
SEATTLE, June 29, 2012 – Svetlana Abrosimova, a member of the Seattle Storm's 2010 WNBA championship team, has signed with the Storm as a free agent. Abrosimova met the team on the East Coast and is expected to suit up for the Storm's next game at 1:00 p.m. Saturday against New York at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.
The Storm roster now stands at 11 players including Lauren Jackson, who will rejoin the team after the London Olympic Games.
Peering at Katie Smith in the Storm locker room post-game is quite a sight these days.
With big bags of ice wrapped from her heel to just below the knee, from a distance the veteran looks more Megatron than mega-star shooting guard.
However, Smith’s three Olympic gold medals and two WNBA championships, to go along with a spot on the league’s all-time top 15 players’ list, easily makes her one of the most accomplished basketball players on the planet -- male or female.
Players have slow starts; teams have slow starts; and it sure seems like the WNBA is off to a slow start as well.
It’s hard to say why, but it just doesn’t seem like the league has kicked into gear yet. Maybe it’s because the results so far have been pretty predictable, and stars like Lauren Jackson, Penny Taylor and Diana Taurasi are MIA. And maybe it’s because the NBA playoffs have been so good in the past couple weeks that any basketball would pale in comparison, but regardless, the WNBA isn’t yet firing on all cylinders.
The 2012 edition of the Seattle Storm is almost as much a study of who is not in the locker room as who is.
Most critically, Lauren Jackson, the Australian post who has been one of the team’s two signature players since she was drafted first overall by the Storm in 2001, will miss the first part of the season while training with the Australian National Team for a run at a gold medal in this summer’s Olympic Games in London.