Bird remains heart, soul of champion Storm | Sports Columns

‘You have to just enjoy it and soak it all up’: Storm greeted with warm welcome at Sea-Tac Airport

Storm sweep Mystics, win third WNBA title

Although most of the team didn't shut their eyes until they got on a plane this morning, they said it was worth it to see all the fans waiting for them when they got home.

Bird was a linchpin in 2004, when the Storm took their first title, and a stalwart in 2010, when they won again.

The brilliant Breanna Stewart, arguably the best women's basketball player in the world, hit a tough shot in traffic, was fouled, and completed the three-point play.

When Breanna Stewart left the University of CT after winning an unprecedented four straight NCAA titles, coach Geno Auriemma said that she might be the best of a long list of former UConn icons who have become WNBA All-Stars, Hall of Famers and future Hall of Famers.

The 24-year-old was also named the WNBA Finals MVP on Wednesday following her 30-point performance. "Now I can go to the bar and order her everything she needs".

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"We understand that the difference here is we have a chance to win a championship and not just advance to the next round", Bird said.

What Stewart has done the seven years since is no surprise to her.

"I didn't ask them to do anything for me", Bird said. We didn't know - I mean, I didn't even know her favorite beer, and that's a pretty important thing to know about Panda.

"I don't know if we'd lean one way or another", she said, adding that she's been to the White House several times and that it's "nothing new to me". We knew what to do and how to get better.

According to the WNBA salary database compiled by High Post Hoops, the contracts of five Mystics players are up after 2018, including starters Cloud and LaToya Sanders. In addition to setting the franchise single-season record for points (742) and field goals (270), Stewart broke her own single-season franchise record for 20-plus point games, boasting 22 on the year. The others are Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tamika Catchings, and Brittney Griner. The pair are joined by Liz Cambage of the Dallas Wings, Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and Tiffany Hayes of the Atlanta Dream to round out the team. Seattle obliterated Washington and became the sixth team to sweep the Finals in three games.

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Stewart and Howard each scored 17 points in the first half as the Storm took a 47-30 lead.

"We don't feel like we peaked and this is it for us", Elena Delle Donne said.

Natasha Howard, who won a title with the Minnesota Lynx last season, had 29 points on 11-for-14 shooting and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Storm.

Napheesa Collier started training camp with Team USA on Labor Day.

Stewart was a part of 151 victories and only five losses at UConn.

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"Imagine being invited to a training camp, thinking you only need to pack for a couple of days".

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