Women's Hoops Blog
Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"
June 13, 2007 3:28 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
It's nothing new for players to huddle with their opponents before a game, saying "Hello" to friends and making plans for later. But Seattle's version today in Indiana was a little more special.
With the addition of former Storm forward Adia Barnes to the team's radio broadcast and forward Sheri Sam to the Fever roster after the folding of Charlotte, seven of the 12 players that brought Seattle its first major pro championship since 1979 were reunited on the same court.
Barnes, Sam, Lauren Jackson, and current Fever guard Tully Bevilaqua posed for a photo prior to tipoff with Jackson making bunny ears behind Bevilaqua. Betty Lennox and Janell Burse caught up with Bevilaqua and Sam and Jackson, Bevilaqua, Barnes, Sam and Bird had a long talk before beginning stretching.
While Karen Bryant, the team's chief operating officer, still contends Sam, Bevilaqua and center Kamila Vodichcova leaving via free agency for max deals elsewhere after the 2004 title was mostly beneficial for all parties involved (Vodichkova is out of the league due to pregnancy and battled injuries in Phoenix), I still wonder if the Storm could have had one more title if the group was retained. Bryant said there wasn't money for such a move, but if you look at it now, Burse, Lennox, Bird, and Jackson are all making the max ($93,000) and Wendy Palmer and Iziane Castro Marques aren't far off. Considering the team's state now - new owners and the possibility of relocating - I asked if she'd do things differently knowing what Bryant knows now. Of course she said "no," pointing out that the Storm remained entertaining in advancing to the postseason the past two years and has a bright future.
"It's a great feeling," said Bryant as she watched the mingling. "Being able to reunite with players who helped deliver our organization, our fans, and our city one of the greatest moments in Seattle sports is great. It's something we'll always share."
Former Storm coach Lin Dunn was her usual funny self when I ran into her before the game.
"Welcome to Seattle, Jayda!" she said.
"Seattle?" I responded, and we both laughed. She was just talking to Jackson about Seattle and was still in an Emerald City sate of mind, I guess. Jackson will do that to you. Indiana agrees with Dunn, though, she's a little slimmer and joked that Bevilaqua has helped.
"I'm on the Tully Bevilaqua red wine and vinaigrette diet," she said.
But Dunn isn't boxing like Bevilaqua, however.