September 28, 2020
Seattle Storm can cement their place in WNBA lore with a Finals win
One of the league's most consistent franchises can join elite company
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Epiphanny Prince #11 and Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm high-fives each other during the game in Game Three of the semifinals of the 2020 WNBA Playoffs on September 27, 2020, at Feld EntertainmentCenter in Palmetto, Florida. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via GettyImages)
The Seattle Storm began this season with lofty expectations. With Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart back with the team, Seattle had the look of a contender. After their semifinals sweep of the Minnesota Lynx, no one is surprised the Storm are back in the WNBA Finals after a one-year absence.
When it comes to WNBA history, the Storm are already among the league’s most prominent franchises. Since 2004, the Storm have missed the postseason twice. Seattle has the fifth-best all-time franchise winning percentage among active teams. Having missed the postseason just twice since 2004 makes them among the league’s most consistent.
Of course, this is unsurprising when one franchise can claim legends like Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird, and others.
In the company of greatness
Even without another championship, the Storm are one of the great franchises in league history. Their three titles are currently tied with Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Dallas/Detroit for second-most all-time.
Seattle is just three victories from a fourth ring to tie them with Minnesota and Houston (RIP) for the WNBA record. Going through either Connecticut or Las Vegas is no Sunday stroll, but the Storm are staring down history.
While the Storm are already an all-time great WNBA franchise, another championship can further enhance their standing in the record book.
Bird also eyes fourth championship
Look, Sue Bird may not have room in her trophy case for another award. You name it, Bird has won it. She’s been an all-star, Olympian, NCAA champion, and just about everything in between. You can also call her a three-time WNBA champion.
Think of the names of players who have four WNBA championships. Cynthia Cooper and the dynastic Comets. Maya Moore, Rebekkah Brunson, and Sylvia Fowles. The list of four-time WNBA champions reads like a list of the top-whatever players of all-time.
Bird is already in that conversation and has nothing to lose in these Finals. There’s no losing ground for her. A fourth championship would add to an already decorated playing career. If the Storm fall short, Bird is still a legend.
She and the Storm are inextricably linked. Bird’s arrival helped elevate the franchise from a team that missed the playoffs three times in four seasons to four-consecutive playoff berths.
Somehow, in this stage of her career, Bird is still in a position to add to her legacy.
Nothing is certain
The road to Championship No. 4 won’t be easy. A rematch of the 2004 Finals with Connecticut will be a challenge as the Sun have hit their stride at the right time. Las Vegas swept the season series with Seattle and has the reigning MVP.
Yet, it’s the overcoming of this adversity that adds luster to these championships. The Storm are just three wins away from their ultimate goal, but this will be three of the toughest to earn.