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?