The Seattle Storm is raining on everybody’s parade as they capture their fourth Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) championship. On Oct. 6, 2020, the Storm completed their sweep against the Las Vegas Aces with a score of 92 – 59. The Storm dominated throughout their entire playoff run.
This is the fourth championship in the franchise’s 20-year history for the Storm. According to the New York Times, the Storm has tied the league record for having the most championships, along with the (former) Houston Comets and the Minnesota Lynx. They also broke another record by defeating the Aces with the biggest deficit of 33 points in playoff history.
The Storm had two stand-out stars: Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird. They helped lead the team to this championship. Bird has the longest tenure with the Storm, which allowed her to be a part of every championship the Storm has won. Her career is dwindling as she is approaching her 40th birthday, but she has not announced her retirement yet. Despite her age, she set a new record for assists in a finals game with 16. Stewart won the Most Valuable Player award for the final playoff series, her second time doing so. She led the team in scoring with 85 points, according to Crosscut. “To be here and see myself playing like this and having so much potential going forward, it’s exciting but also really appreciating what we were able to do this year,” Stewart said. The future seems exciting for the Storm, with Stewart leading the team.
The Storm is proving that they have created a successful franchise with this championship win. Their last championship came in 2018. They were plagued with injuries during the 2019 season; Bird herself had to have knee surgery. The most devastating injury came when Stewart ruptured her right achilles tendon, according to ESPN. Luckily, she has completely recovered this year and has been able to prove that on the court.
The WNBA season this year was played under unusual circumstances. They planned to have 36 games this season, but COVID-19 prevented that. Instead, the regular season was only 22 games, and players were kept in the bubble at the IMG Academy. The Storm did not let the circumstances deter them from their goal of winning the championship, though. COVID-19 also had an impact on their celebration with fans, but the Storm put on a virtual rally, allowing the proud fans to celebrate with them
According to Seattle Times, Bird said, “This is probably going to be one of the defining moments of my career. To have played however many years I’ve been playing, to have won in all these places, but then to do it at the end in such a way that was different from all the others, it’s really incredible.” Bird appears to be proud of her team’s performance. At the start of the season, they were not expected to do well in the playoffs, but they proved the doubters wrong.
The Storm will be a team to pay attention to next year in the WNBA. They have an opportunity to repeat the success they experienced this year. That will solidify them as one of the best WNBA teams.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times