You're getting your first look at voting for the Seattle Storm All-Decade Team today, but this has been in the works for months. As part of the process, all of us in the Storm offices have been putting together our own personal All-Decade teams, and I wanted to share mine today. Since we're asking fans to share why they voted the way they did, it's only fair I do the same.
Adia Barnes - There's no question I have a soft spot for Adia, and did long before we began working together with Storm radio broadcasts. Barnes played a key role as a starter for the first Storm playoff team and her defense off the bench was invaluable during the championship season.
Tully Bevilaqua - As I wrote in the text on her page, the Storm might well not have won a championship without Bevilaqua backing up Sue Bird. She's set an impossibly high standard for backup point guards ever since. And there's a reason she had the nickname "Loveable Pitbull" when she was here.
Sue Bird - Call me crazy, but I think Sue belongs on this team. No, obviously she's a no-brainer.
Janell Burse - I think people sometimes overlook Burse's key place in Storm history. She ranks in the franchise's all-time top five in points, rebounds and blocks, and will only add to those totals this season. Also, isn't it nice to see the so-called "Killer Bs" reunited again?
Iziane Castro Marques - During three years as a starter in Seatle, Izi really came into her own, developing into a dangerous streaky scorer who also defended the opposition's top perimeter scory.
Simone Edwards - Certainly, no Storm All-Decade Team would be complete without the Shakin' Jamaican. In addition to ranking third in franchise history in games played and being the last player left from the inaugural Storm team, Edwards' contributions in the community were immense.
Lauren Jackson - A good rule of thumb: If you make the WNBA's All-Decade Team (as Bird did also), you're a pretty good bet for the Storm All-Decade Team.
Betty Lennox - Who amongst us can forget Betty's emotional reaction to being named Finals MVP in 2004? Even had Lennox left after that first season in Seattle, she'd still be an easy pick because of her enormous role in bringing home the Storm's WNBA championship.
Alicia Thompson - This was the toughest pick for me, as I considered players like Michelle Marciniak, Edna Campbell and Swin Cash. You could make an argument for any of the 24 nominees. Still, my bias toward the championship team is evident (nine of the 10 players on my All-Decade Team were part of the 2004 squad), and that pushes Thompson into this spot. She came up with plenty of clutch three-pointers during the 2004 playoffs.
Kamila Vodichkova - The Storm's first-ever draft pick is both a strong emotional choice because of her endearing personality as well as a solidly rational one, still ranking amongst the franchise's all-time top five in points, rebounds, blocks, games and minutes.
Be on the lookout down the road for "Celebrity" picks from current or former Storm players and broadcasters, etc. as voting for the All-Decade Team continues through July 3.