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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!"

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June 19, 2007 7:35 PM

Much respect

Posted by Jayda Evans

So, you've probably heard (or assumed correctly) that Storm All-Star Sue Bird smoked local columnist Jim Moore in their game of H-O-R-S-E today. I had to watch because I'm nosy and I just think it's so disrespectful to challenge someone who has been named All-Decade in their sport to a dual because you're pretty good on your "driveway court" and thus should be able to beat a woman.

Moore is cool. I really do like the guy, but I told him all of the above when I saw him. His response was that it was supposed to be something fun, an easy column to write, but even after he didn't get a single letter on Bird he had the nerve to tell me, "I know the women are great, but I honestly thought I might win." We both cracked up.

I will say I have so much more respect for Bird than I ever did before. Point guards don't get all the stats that show their worth, that's why I love it when Bird goes off, because you can see her skills. Today her intelligence was on display. Instead of trying to be a show dog to all of the observers, including cameras, watching the debacle, Bird played to keep control of the game by, as she put it, "lulling [Jim] to sleep." She made mid-range shots because "guys who can go long, their mid-range game is whacked," and only attempted a few three-pointers after Moore complained that she was "nickle-and-diming" him.

"You're H-O-R on nickel-and-dime," she retorted.

Later Moore tried again to get her to do something fancy, although one of the rules was nothing athletic (say what?). Bird didn't, responding with, "That's what professional basketball players do. That's my game."

I loved it.

Still, what does it prove? That a 49-year-old man who's going to be 50 this weekend can't beat a 26-year-old Olympian in copycat shots? I'm sure women around the world are rejoicing over this one.

It was hilarious fun, however, and the Storm made $200 for its charity, so I guess it had its place. I just wish this would settle the argument. But Bird will most likely travel to Kansas City when the organization relocates and be back on court with columnist Jason Whitlock, proving her worth again. Or maybe she'll ditch the politically correct facade and tell these guys what to do with their basketballs.

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