The Storm are 14-2. Let’s get to know a little more about them, shall we?
I thought about titling this “Sue Bird is the Gary Payton of the Storm,” in trying to keep with a Sonics theme, but Sue Bird really isn’t like Gary Payton. She doesn’t post up as much as Payton and she doesn’t trash talk. Then I thought about Steve Nash, but Bird isn’t quite as improvisational as the Suns star.
What Bird is is this–among the best point guards in the history of her league. Like Jason Kidd. Like Kidd, Bird is unflappable dribbling one-on-one against defenders. Once she gets up court, like Kidd, she looks to distribute before she looks to score. Bird is second all-time in WNBA career assists; Kidd is second all-time in NBA career assists.
But, like Kidd, Bird will punish you if you sag off of her by making jumpers. And if you press her too tightly, she’ll take advantage by driving past you for easy baskets. And, when the situation calls for it, usually late in games, Bird can create her own shot. All facets of Kidd’s game. For her career, Bird has averaged 13.5 points per 36 minutes; Kidd 13.2.
Where Bird gets the jump on Kidd is in rings. Both have won two Olympic gold medals, but Bird won two NCAA championships at UConn, her one WNBA title with the ’04 Storm, and a Russian SuperLeague championship. Kidd’s Olympic golds are his only team championship.
Kidd does have a slight edge on Bird in rapping ability; or maybe not–judge for yourself below via a YouTube (blessed YouTube) video of the 1994 classic “What the Kidd Did.”
Bird is probably the best active point guard in the world right now, and teaming her with the world’s best player, Lauren Jackson, makes the Storm a potent team…if the two can stay healthy. Bird missed the last Storm game and most of the previous one with back spasms; she told SBNation Seattle that she was improving and might play Saturday against Los Angeles. But should she? Keeping Bird fresh for what looks like an inevitable playoff run would seem to be job one for Storm coach Brian Agler right now.