As I congratulated Seattle Storm assistant coach Jenny Boucek at the end of their championship ceremony at KeyArena last night, she said, "I know deep down you enjoyed this as a fan. Deep down you've become a big Storm fan."
And really, how could you not become a fan?
This is one of the best basketball units ever to play the game and if you appreciate the game, it's not exactly difficult to immerse yourself in that. They have two of the best players ever to play their positions in Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson. And most importantly, they win.
One of the reasons for the team's success is the ownership and there was plenty of appreciation given to the four women who came together to save the Storm -- Force 10 Hoops -- as the Seattle Sonics bolted to Oklahoma City.
Todd Dybas of the Seattle PI picked up on that theme in his reflection on the ceremony and the Storm's season and suggests that as the class of the Seattle professional sports landscape, other teams should turn to them for advice.
Other organizations could learn a lesson from the Storm
This is how an organization should be run.
It's a locally owned team. Not that pretend style of locally owned we see from other businesses. Not an organization whose head person is a mystery man and whose second in charge has found it necessary to do some explaining of late because a supposed night at the Improv was poorly received.
No one on the roster is in the police blotter. That's it. That simple.
As Dybas explains, the Storm have done something right organizationally that's worthy of attention even if you have no interest in women's basketball and have no interest in the campy atmosphere of the games, which can admittedly become exhausting at times.
Given that the infamous Clay Bennett never expressed a particularly strong interest in maintaining a WNBA team, the Storm weren't just going to relocate, but they were going to disappear and take Seattle's only other professional sports championship with them. So the appreciation shown Force 10 Hoops wasn't simply nostalgic Sonics lust, but authentic gratitude for keeping the team in Seattle and building a championship team in a city that can't seem to figure that out.
For more on the ceremony, visit SBN's Swish Appeal: Seattle Storm Championship Celebration: Honoring The Legacy Of A Great Basketball Team.