Rather than having a traditional WNBA All-Star game this season, the WNBA has teamed up with USA Basketball to help the Team USA prepare for the 2010 FIBA World Championships with what essentially amounts to a "tune-up" game.
Yesterday, USA Basketball announced their roster and unsurprisingly, Storm point guard Sue Bird and forward Swin Cash have been selected to the team. The announcement caps a week in which Bird, Cash, forward Lauren Jackson and coach Brian Agler all received recognition of one sort of another, a testament to the 15-2 Storm's success this season.
Yet despite all the publicity this week, Agler said after practice today that the team has hardly even taken notice of it.
"We haven't talked about it as a team," said Agler. "I think a lot of this, like the All-Star selections they weren't surprises. The USA Basketball thing wasn't a surprise for anybody, it was sort of expected. So, it hasn't been a distraction for me. It's good, I'm happy for 'em. I really am. It's well deserved. We're talking about three players that are extremely good. Whether they're representing the USA or they're a WNBA All-Star or in Lauren's case for her national team, it's just very nice for them to receive this recognition. And, who knows, we may get another one [on the All-Star team] before it's over with."
Coaches turned in their ballots to complete the "All-Star team" roster today, which will be added to the non-Team USA players that fans voted for previously (Bird received the most votes). Agler noted that both forward Camille Little and guard Tanisha Wright have a good chance of being voted to the team by the coaches. Little in particular is having a career year scoring 11.5 points per game on 50% shooting to go along with 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game (2nd in the WNBA).