Updated Aug 16, 2012 - 10:46 am
Bird and Seattle Storm ready for WNBA playoff push
Bird finally got some sleep after her whirlwind basketball journey in London, which culminated with Team USA continuing an Olympic win streak that dates back to the 1992 Barcelona Games. How did this experience compare to Sue's previous two gold medal teams?
"I didn't know what to expect because I had never been to London," Bird told me in our conversation. "It was just special. The city was great, everybody was super nice, and I had my family and friends there. All in all, it was a great time."
Bird is hopeful the Gold medal performance will give women's basketball more attention as the WNBA resumes the 2012 schedule.
"Women's basketball has been pretty consistent with five gold medals in a row, yet we don't get talked about the same as some other sports like gymnastics, swimming, or soccer," said Bird.
"I'm not complaining at all, but I find it a little funny that happened and we have a league that is doing well. For whatever reason, women's basketball seems to hold the torch in that regard."
As point guard on the talent-laden United States roster, Bird looked to get her teammates in scoring positions and feed them the ball. With the Seattle Storm, she is both distributor and primary scorer, especially with Lauren Jackson still away for two more games.
Jackson was the flag-bearer for Team Australia and is participating in her country's welcome home ceremonies for Olympic athletes. When "LJ" does join the Storm, the team will finally be at full force.
My favorite moment of the women's Olympic basketball tournament was Bird stealing the ball away from Jackson, and Jackson fouling Bird. They both had ear-to-ear grins. Was anything said between the Seattle teammates and best friends?
"She just kind of yelled my name in a funny way, " Bird recalled. "Ah...Sue Bird! Like, how dare you kind of thing. After she fouled, Lauren said, 'You better pick me up. I obliged and that's the great moment we had.'"
With a 9 and 10 record, Seattle is barely holding on to the 4th playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Storm host another Olympic star Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury Thursday night at KeyArena.
Follow Bill Swartz, 710 ESPN Seattle
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