PHOENIX - SEPTEMBER 05: Sue Bird #10 and Lauren Jackson #15 of the Seattle Storm await a free throw shot in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Mercury during the 2010 WNBA Playoffs at US Airways Center on September 5 2010 in Phoenix Arizona. The Storm defeated the Mercury 91-88 to win the series 2-0. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
2 Total Updates since June 21, 2011
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The announcement of the Top 15 WNBA Players of All Time at this past weekend's 2011 WNBA All-Star Game.
Seattle Storm point guard Sue Bird was pretty much a lock to make the recently released list of Top 15 WNBA Players of All Time from the moment the list of 30 nominees was announced.
But after making the list and being honored at the 2011 WNBA All-Star game this past weekend, Bird found the whole thing "surreal" as reported by Jessica Lantz of SB Nation's women's basketball site Swish Appeal.
Video: 15 Greatest of All-Time Honored at 2011 WNBA All-Star Game - Swish Appeal
Sue Bird, Seattle's prolific point guard, also earned her way to the Top 15 list. She reflected on her inclusion with women that she referred to as legends.
"It was great. It's such an honor to be on that list when you look at the other names," Bird said. "I was young when the WNBA started, just into my high school career, watched them on TV and saw them in the Olympics, so to be in the game group with some of those players is crazy. It's definitely such an honor and it's one of those things that I know I'll look back on and look at it in kind of a surreal kind of way."
Bird also noted the significance of having five current all-stars make the Top 15 list.
"I think it's a good sign that some of us are still current, because it kind of shows where the league is still going," Bird reflected. "It really is headed in the right direction ... When we play it's for the love of the game. It's because we enjoy it, it's because it's the best competition."
Storm forward Swin Cash, who is among the top players to be left off of the WNBA's top 15 list, echoed Bird's sentiment about the blend of current and retired players on the list, also saying that just having people talk about the league in arguing about its best ever players is a positive.
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The WNBA announced its Top 15 Players Of All Time today during the 2011 WNBA All-Star game and the Seattle Storm were well-represented with Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson, and Katie Smith all being honored.
As could have been expected, former Seattle Storm players Yolanda Griffith (2008) and Sheryl Swoopes (2008) were also named to the team.
"The 15 athletes honored today represent an extraordinarily accomplished group and the very best in women's professional basketball from around the world," said WNBA President Laurel J. Richie in a release. "In just the few months I've been with the WNBA, I have had an opportunity to meet each of the current players on this list as well as some of the legends who paved the way. I have found that they are not only tremendous athletes who have reached extraordinary heights on the court, but also terrific women who give unselfishly of their time in the community. I am proud to be associated with these outstanding women; and I am so pleased for them that the fans, media members, and the current generation of players and coaches, have chosen to recognize and honor them."
Bird, in her 10th season with the Storm, was most recently named as the seventh most popular women female athlete in U.S. in the recently released Harris Poll. Bird was by far the best point guard in the league last season and is widely regarded as the best point guard in the world. She is one of seven players to have won NCAA and WNBA championships and an Olympic gold medal. She has been voted a starter in all seven All-Star Games that have been played during her career (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2011). Bird was also named to the WNBA's All-Decade Team in 2006.
Not to be outdone, Jackson, also a seven-time All-Star selection, is often regarded as the best player in the world. She is a three-time league MVP (2003, 2007, 2010). She earned multiple honors in 2007 when she was named both MVP and Defensive Player of the Year and again in 2010 when she was tabbed as both the league and Finals MVP after leading Seattle to its second championship.
Smith, 37, joined the Storm this year and is playing her 13th year of professional basketball, with her accomplishments elsewhere most significant in determining her spot on this list. The 2008 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year, her name is scattered throughout the WNBA career lists. She is currently third all-time in scoring, behind Thompson and Lisa Leslie. Like Bird, she has two Olympic gold medals on her resume.
Perhaps disappointing to some Storm fans is the omission of forward Swin Cash, who was among the list of 30 nominees but didn't make the cut for the Top 15 players.
James Bowman of SB Nation's Swish Appeal set up a Hall of Fame probability calculator that had Cash squarely in range for the Top 15 list. Cash is a two-time member of the All-WNBA Second Team and has her share of championship rings and is among the top 30 in a number of statistical categories from points to assists to rebounding. And you cannot dismiss the intangibles - on more than one occasion, it's Cash getting the rebound or making the aggressive play in the paint that catalyzes a run.
However - and not that it diminishes anything she's accomplished - where Cash might have struggled to get votes is that she's good at a number of things but not necessarily at the best at any one defining thing.
But ultimately, it's really difficult to argue against those that made the list.
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The WNBA has announced today that four current Seattle Storm players have made the list of 30 nominees for the league's official list of Top 15 Players of all time, according to a release.
Seattle Storm mainstays Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson have to be considered among the top candidates for the final list of 15. Swin Cash, who joined the Storm in 2008 after winning championships with the Detroit Shock, also made the list. Storm newcomer - and Cash's Shock teammate - Katie Smith is also a strong candidate to receive the final honor.
Bird, Jackson, and Smith were also among the ten players selected for the WNBA's All-Decade team in 2006.
The nominees were selected by a panel comprised of media members and basketball experts, with consideration given to such factors as on-court performance and ability, leadership, sportsmanship and community service, as well as to contributions to team success and the overall growth of women’s basketball. While some players, such as Smith, also played in the now-defunct ABL, only the WNBA portions of their careers were considered.
Fans and media as well as current players and coaches will have the opportunity to vote for their Top 15 Players of all time once per day by going online to http://www.wnba.com/
Also included on the list of 30 are former Storm players Yolanda Griffith (2008), Shannon Johnson (2009) and Sheryl Swoopes (2008).