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President Obama made a congratulatory phone call to the Seattle Storm earlier today. On the call with President Obama were team owners Dawn Trudeau and Lisa Brummel, CEO and President Karen Bryant and Storm center Ashley Robinson.
From a White House Office of the Press Secretary:
Earlier today, President Obama called members of the Seattle Storm organization, to congratulate them on winning the WNBA Finals for the second time, on their success during the regular season and their undefeated run in the playoffs. The President told them that they are an inspiration to everyone, especially his daughters. Members of the Storm organization on the call told the President that they appreciated his call and that it was a highlight for their organization. President Obama said he looks forward to congratulating them in person at the White House.
Again, big congratulations to the Storm.
More than one person has asked me this season whether the Seattle Storm have "replaced" the Sonics as the city's basketball sweetheart.
More than one Seattlite has told me that's not the case.
However, in a lengthy essay at the Life and Art of Vern blog, he juxtaposed seemingly contradictory articles on the front page of the Seattle Times - one about the Storm's championship and the other suggesting that KeyArena is "missing its NBA team" - and suggests that when the current tenant goes 21-0, nobody is really missing the tenant that tried to "blackmail" the city.
Vern Tells It Like It Is for September 19th, 2010 | The Life and Art of Vern
We’re so much better focusing our love on an awesome WNBA team than putting up with the abuse of a mediocre NBA one. As I mentioned in my review of WHIP IT the absence of the Sonics also paved the way for Rat City Roller Girls skating in the same arena where Jay-Z plays. That’s another feminist, pro-gay, homegrown, even volunteer run organization with loyal fans and out of control success. No national championships yet, but only by taking the NBA’s leftover stadium did they achieve the attendance record for modern roller derby. Man, it’s so much better without the Sonics.
If nothing else, the piece is entertaining even if you might quibble with some of the facts.
However, the fact that there are still people writing about missing the Sonics, that what Force 10 Hoops did to keep the Storm here and avoid relocation (or folding altogether) was still a topic of discussion at the Storm's championship ceremony, and that there was at least one person with a "Save Our Sonics" sign at the WNBA Finals says that the Storm haven't necessarily erased the memory of the Sonics either.
In more than one way, the fan bases are too different in general to suggest one could ever truly supplant the other - were the situations reversed (Sonics staying and Storm leaving) I have my doubts that Storm fans would ever suggest that Sonics success would ever heal the loss of their team. Even for fans that love basketball, losing a team that was here for 40 years is not going to be erased by the success of a team that just hit a decade, two championships notwithstanding.
After winning the WNBA title in a sweep of the Atlanta Dream in Phillips Arena across the country, the Seattle Storm got a chance to celebrate with their own fans in KeyArena.
In addition to the video above, King 5 Sports also has the full length footage of the occasion.
StormBasketball.com has the roundup of links about the event.
For more on the event, visit SBN's Swish Appeal.
It's a question that people have been whispering about for at least half the Seattle Storm's season since setting all these records: is this the best team ever?
It's a fair question given the records they set, the way they steamrolled through the post-season, and the fact that they have two Hall Of Fame locks in Sue Bird (who will make a claim as the best point guard ever) and Lauren Jackson.
Clay Kallam of Slam Online takes a crack at it and compares the Storm to the 1998 Houston Comets, the franchise that won the first four championships of the league's history (1997-2000).
SLAM ONLINE | » Perfect Storm?
Put a gun to my head, and I probably pick Houston because I think Cooper and Swoopes are more likely to make big plays late, but then again, I wouldn’t mind having LJ and Bird with the ball in their hands either. Call me a wimp, but this mythical series goes five games, and the team that gets the last shot probably wins – and I’m not saying who that team is.
However, when asked earlier this season about the comparison between those old Comets teams and the Storm, former Comet Tina Thompson had some additional insight: she didn't even believe their team was great after winning two in a row in 1998.
Storm Focus On Finishing The Season With Playoff Success After Making Mark On History - SB Nation Seattle
Neither Milton-Jones nor veteran Sparks forward Tina Thompson would say that the Storm’s regular season success puts them in the conversation as one of the league’s "great" teams. There’s a different standard entirely for that.
“We didn’t become a great team until we won,” said Thompson, who played for the Houston Comets teams that won the first four WNBA championships in league history. “Like the first year we won we weren’t a great team. Even the second time we won we weren’t a great team. We weren’t considered a great team until we won the three and four. So as much as the regular season tells a story, it doesn’t mean anything until you complete it throughout the playoffs.”
Given that we're now in an era of free agency, the ABL no longer exists as a competing league, and many people would say the league has gotten better since those early years, it's difficult to compare teams across eras like this.
But Thompson does beg the question: does this Storm team need to repeat before we consider them among the league's "great" teams?
When one Seattle team wins a championship, everybody has to get in on it.
The Mariners will be celebrating the Seattle Storm's WNBA Title on Sunday, September 19 when they take on the Texas Rangers. In addition to pre-game recognition and a ceremonial first pitch, they're offering discounted tickets.
Mariners celebrate Storm's WNBA title | Mariners.com: Official Info
Storm fans can get in on the celebration with special ticket prices of $15 for View Reserved seats (normally $20) and $30 Field Level seats (normally $40). While supplies last, ticket buyers will receive a "We Love the Storm" T-shirt. This ticket offer is available online only at www.mariners.com/storm. Deadline to purchase discount tickets is Sunday, September 19 at 10am.
Mariners Brian Sweeney and Matt Tuiasosopo have already showed support for the Storm this week when they showed up for their WNBA Fit clinic on the day before Game Two of the WNBA Finals in KeyArena.
Shortly after the Seattle Storm won the 2010 WNBA Finals, they held a championship rally at KeyArena's West Plaza with Matt Pittman, in-arena host Shellie Hart, and of course Doppler.
Storm center Lauren Jackson was unquestionably the WNBA Finals MVP.
Nobody can really dispute that.
But in Game Three, just as it has been all season, it took more than Jackson to win the game and sweep the Dream.
Storm’s Trio Of All-Stars Leads Them To Championship Glory
“All season long we’ve been in situations where, you know, we’ve been down and people start to put a gap on us, and we’ve had players step up and hit big shots,” said 2010 WNBA Finals MVP Lauren Jackson. “That’s been the magic of our team really all year.”
But in addition to the All-Star trio, Storm forward Camille Little deserves ample credit for her performance. Her rebounding and ability to get to the line throughout the game made her a huge contributor to the victory although her All-Star teammates will get plenty of attention and deservedly so.
For more post-game statistical analysis, visit SBN’s Swish Appeal.
From Seattle Storm PR:
Greet the team when they arrive back in Seattle on Friday at SeaTac Airport on Delta flight 2129 at 1:20 p.m.
Park in the main airport terminal parking garage, cross the skybridge and follow signs towards the South Ground Transportation Lot.
From Seattle Storm PR:
Seattle Storm Championship Parade and Celebration is set for Friday, Sept. 17. The parade, beginning at the base of the Space Needle at 7 p.m. will be followed by a Championship Celebration inside KeyArena at 7:30 p.m. All seating for this free event is general admission. KeyArena doors will open at 7:30 p.m.
Fans are encouraged to begin lining the streets starting at KeyArena and working their ways backwards along 1st. Ave. toward the start of the parade route. The Championship Parade will begin on 4th & Broad St, turn right on Denny and then right on to 1st Ave to KeyArena.
The Championship Celebration will take place inside KeyArena. Fans should enter through the west doors of KeyArena (1st Ave. N/Near Team Shop)
Here's video of the Seattle Storm receiving the 2010 WNBA Championship trophy after sweeping the Atlanta Dream 3-0 in the best-of-five 2010 WNBA Finals.
Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler has maintained throughout the playoffs that there isn’t much distance between this team that has gone undefeated during the playoffs and everyone else.
But what makes this team great is simple to anyone who has watched the entire season: it’s hard to remember a team with such a strong expectation to win every single time they hit the court, no matter what the circumstances, no matter who the opponent. It’s hard to remember a team in any sport for whom anything short of winning was a disappointment on almost every single occasion, slow starts or late deficits notwithstanding.
So it’s fitting that the Seattle Storm won their second championship tonight by ending the fourth quarter on a 14-1 run to sweep the Dream in Game Three of the WNBA Finals 87-84.
And as usual, the third quarter was by no means perfect – the Dream started off the third playing as well as they had played all season, forcing the Storm out of their sets and into rushed decision making and a rash of turnovers. They were playing the passing lanes and getting out in transition.
But then Storm forward Swin Cash hit a three with the Storm down six and the flood gates opened, led by their All-Star trio: she got hot, Bird got hot, and Lauren Jackson started finding looks after being held to four points in the first half.
Heading into the fourth quarter down by seven points, the fought valiantly, never quite showing signs of giving up. But ultimately the Storm overwhelmed them as they have done everyone in the league all year.
Although few people would have found reason to doubt the Storm taking one of two games in Atlanta to win the championship, it was difficult to predict a sweep because you had to figure at home that the gutsy Dream weren’t simply going to fold and the first two games.
Then again, imagining ways to beat this team and actually bringing that about have been two clearly distinct tasks this season.
That’s why they’re coming back to Seattle with hardware.
The Seattle Storm organization will host a postgame 2010 WNBA Championship Rally tonight and are encouraged to join Doppler, Matt Pitman and in-arena host Shellie Hart on KeyArena’s West Plaza located on the Seattle Center Campus.
The Seattle Storm won the 2010 WNBA championship by defeating the Atlanta Dream 87-84 in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals in Atlanta's Philips Arena on Thursday night. The Storm swept the Dream 3-0 in the best-of-five series.
The Storm played focused, solid basketball throughout Game 3, running out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and, after the Dream fought back, breaking the game open again late in the second half by holding the Dream without a field goal for more than 6 minutes in the fourth quarter. They survived a scary final minute sequence that saw the Dream miss two potential game-tying three-pointers.
The Storm offensive attack featured balanced scoring with all five starters hitting for double figures. Forward Swin Cash led the way with 18 points, WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson added 15 points and 9 rebounds and point guard Sue Bird tacked on 14 points and 7 assists.
Angel McCoughtry paced the Dream with 35 points in a losing effort. Iziane Castro Marques also added 21 points for Atlanta.
The title is the first for Seattle Storm head coach Brian Agler. The title is the second for Seattle's Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird, who each were a part of Seattle's 2004 Championship squad. It was the third for Swin Cash, who won two titles with the Detroit Shock in 2003 and 2006.
2010 WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson was named 2010 WNBA Finals MVP. Jackson averaged 22 points and 8 rebounds in the WNBA Finals. "I just think our team totally dominated the league this year," Jackson said Thursday night as she accepted the award.
The third quarter began for the Storm favoring the Dream – lots of turnovers, the Dream getting out on fast breaks, and Angel McCoughtry continuing to come up big.
Then Seattle woke up.
The Storm went on 14-1 run to end the third quarter with Swin Cash getting the team going with two threes and then Lauren Jackson getting going by getting points from all around the court. The Storm went 3-for-6 from the three point line and 5-for-5 from the free throw line to get out to their seven point lead.
In the fourth quarter, we get to see what the Dream are made of: will they give in to frustration or keep fighting the Storm.
Continue to follow along with the game on SBN’s Swish Appeal.
Nobody said the Atlanta Dream would make a sweep easy. So that this is another close game is no surprise.
Angel McCoughtry is on fire thus far going 7-for-11 for 19 points but it’s not due to a failure in Storm defense – she’s making some very difficult off-balance, contested shots that just weren’t falling in KeyArena.
However, perhaps it’s encouraging for the Storm that they’ve even as close as they are with Lauren Jackson only having four points in the first half. Sue Bird and Tanisha Wright are leading the way for the Storm with nine points apiece and Bird has been particularly aggressive going to the basket, which certainly gives the Storm an added dimension.
For more on the game at halftime, visit the halftime stats update on Swish Appeal’s game thread.
Game Three started more similarly to Game One than Game Two.
The Storm got out to a 9-0 start and then the Dream found their way and closed the game to four points.
Angel McCoughtry was big in the Dream coming back with 11 points in the first period.
A key change for the Storm over Game Two – they won the battle on the offensive boards this game, led by Swin Cash (2) and Lauren Jackson (1).
Game Three of the WNBA Finals is about to tip-off on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3.
Follow along with the game on the game thread at SBN’s Swish Appeal.
For a few last minute keys to the game, check the summary of last game.
Two obvious keys from looking at Game 2:
1. Tanisha Wright as a secondary ball handler.
2. Free throws.
As relayed by Kevin Pelton of StormBasketball.com, the Atlanta Dream might be forced into one adjustment with Armintie Price questionable to for Game Three.
STORM: Insider Preview - Storm vs. Atlanta (Game 3)
Meadors may not have a choice when it comes to changing her lineup. Armintie Price, who has started throughout the postseason, rolled her left ankle late in Game 2 and did not return to the floor. While the AP reported X-rays were negative, Price may not be able to play just two days later. If so, the Dream could go back to a bigger starting lineup with Erika de Souza in the middle. Meadors likes de Souza coming off the bench, but there is no natural replacement for Price among the team's other wing players.
Of course, being that it's Game Three of the WNBA Finals with the Dream down 2-0, there's a chance that Price guts it out and plays.
But if she can't play, it will probably force the Dream to go to their bigger lineup featuring two posts, which has actually been quite effective for them throughout the playoffs despite the attention given to inserting Price and Coco Miller into the lineup.
What Price brings to the game is tenacity on both ends of the floor and statistically her aggression shows up most in her ability to get to the free throw line -- she's an athletic, physical player on the wing and when she gets moving in transition there's little to do but foul her or hope she misses the layup. But in Game 1, it was Price guarding Sue Bird for most of the game and doing a good job of helping to disrupt the Storm's offense.
That said, the team has played well with their bigger lineup -- there's a reason they held the Storm to four offensive rebounds in Game 2 -- and with Kelly Miller recently returning from injury, they might be able to find a combination that helps them avoid a sweep.
Surely some Seattle Storm fans had the means to travel to Atlanta to watch Game Three in person.
For those that didn't, there are Storm viewing parties available right here in Seattle listed at StormBasketball.com.
STORM: Storm Playoff Hype
Viewing Parties The Storm encourages its fans to visit any of the locations below to watch Game 3 of the WNBA Finals! Game tipoff is at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Look for special appearances by Doppler and the Storm Street team at the Queen Anne locations throughout the game! Go Storm!
The ironic thing about this WNBA Finals series is that for all the talk - including mine - about how we shouldn't underestimate the Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm coaches and players constantly reminding us how good they are, most people have kept their brooms safely tucked away in their closets.
Even after going up 2-0 with their win on Tuesday, many people are assuming that the Storm will win a title on the road but that the Dream just have too much heart to go down in three, as Bronn Tallant of SBN Atlanta described after Game Two.
Dream Drop Back And Forth Contest, 87-84 - SB Nation Atlanta
One thing you have to love about these girls is that when things get down, they don’t hang their heads and mope; they’ve battled back every time they’d encountered a tough stretch (something I can really appreciate after watching the Hawks getting trounced by the Magic back in April).
After two games, it's difficult to know what to expect.
The Dream's strategy in Game 2 was probably more immediately evident than in Game 1: shoot quickly and crash hard. You have to love the fictional call from Kobe Bryant that Todd Dybas of the Seattle PI conjures up in response to that.
WNBA Finals: Will the Storm be celebrating in Atlanta?
It wants to shoot early and it doesn't care who does it. McCoughtry and former Storm guard Iziane Castro Marques will shoot from anywhere. A lot. The two have taken 81 shots in two games. Kobe Bryant called and told them to pass the ball.
And that is exactly what makes them so dangerous: the game is so back and forth because at some point multiple shots in a row will go in and then they're able to impose their defensive pressure much more effectively.
"We don't run plays for Angel; we don't run plays for Izzy; we don't run plays for any players," said Meadors after Game 1.
That's tough to defend when a team has a player like McCoughtry who can fill it up, a player like Castro Marques who has never seen a shot she doesn't like, and strong rebounders under the basket. As they continue to race up and down the court and pull the trigger quickly the Storm occasionally take quick shots themselves, trying to end the momentum all at once rather than remaining patient.
Let's not sound the alarms: the Storm have been the best team in the league on the road this season although that's easy to forget with all six of their losses coming on the road. We don't even have to throw out their end of season losses when they were resting starters to determine that.
But with the Dream's style of play in front of a home crowd in a series that has had two close games thus far, it's not impossible to imagine the Dream winning this one and preventing the sweep.
For more pre-game preview: Around the Web: Sept. 16 " StormTracker - The Official Blog of the Seattle Storm.
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