In the wake of a year in Seattle sports that - despite the Storm's success - has undoubtedly been a long one, Sports Northwest Magazine attempted to resurrect hope in its December issue, naming 20 players and/or coaches who will make 2009 better. Included on the list: Storm guard Sue Bird, as written by your humble blogger. A taste:
You can find Sports Northwest Magazine at local newstands or bars, or you can read the whole thing (including a recap of the year in sports perfect for those with a high tolerance for pain) online here.
For years, coaches tried to get Bird to subdue her natural desire to set up her teammates and look more frequently for her own offense. Turns out all they needed to do was bench Lauren Jackson. With her superstar teammate missing the last month of the season after ankle surgery, Bird adapted her game to pick up the scoring slack, averaging 17.5 points while improving her shooting percentages during an 11-game stretch that saw the Storm go 7-4 without Jackson. The late push propelled Bird to a third-place finish in MVP voting.