Saturday, 27 August 2011
EYE ON THE STORM
After the thunder comes a storm.
BY TIM DAVID HARVEY
Let’s take it back to 2008 for a moment. The Supersonics franchise channel Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier and said ‘Goodnight Seattle, we love you’ heading off to Oklahoma City. This left nobody listening to Basketball in Seattle but believe me everyone should be now. Even though Kevin Durant has helped make everybody forget about the Sonics with the still relatively new Thunder Basketball purists should still look out for the Storm.
The Storm being Seattle’s premier Basketball franchise. A franchise that still plays in the Supersonics former KeyArena and a franchise that plays in the WNBA. A league that now delivers, as well as ‘Expects great’ but also a league that goes about as unheard of as those old ‘Save Our Sonics’ pleas.
Still when a storm comes you can’t stop the rain and when it rains in Seattle it pours. Last season the Storm became the WNBA champions for the second time and to top that off their leader Lauren Jackson became league MVP for the 2010 campaign and the third time in her career. As the Storm blew out Atlanta banners in the crowd read, 'Not in our house'. The key doesn't fit for the Sonics anymore, the locks have changed. It's the Storms home now.
The Storm showered nightmares on the Atlanta Dream in last years finals. Sweeping them and putting them to bed in 3 games. Now that’s headline making, even if Carmelo and of course LeBron dominated more of the broadsheets. Between all the hear say and gossip however real ball speaks for itself and with the Storm they cut, printed and wrapped it all up right before your eyes. It’s just a shame these days you’d need a paperboy in a sandwich board to read all about it.
Still purists can see and believe when they look into the eye of the storm. They see whet began as an expansion team in 2000 become a team that is not only a playoff regular but a two time champion in eight years. They see a team that has done so much and believe it can do more.
Stormwatchers, chases and followers that look into the eye of their team can see it is led by a player like no other in Lauren Jackson. A most valuable player to her team, league and country. An Australian who makes her nation as proud as Andrew Bogut does. A player that’s among the best in basketball today, men or women, period. A player you don’t want to underestimate before you get Lo-Jacked. A winner and a champion.
Opponents that dare look in the eye of the storm will have a dead eye staring right back at them. Observe a sharp three point shooter in green and white, knocking down treys in the corner with ‘Bird’ embroiled across the back of their vest. This shooter however doesn’t come with a French Lick but this shooter is more than just ‘another’ bird. This deadeye is Sue Bird and if opponents don’t keep an eye on her, they may as well stare in the face of defeat.
There’s more to this Seattle Storm than meets the eye however. It’s teams that win championships and Seattle boasts an international, diverse and versatile roster. Players that thread the needle and space the floor. Players you can bank on like Swin Cash. Girls you can have faith in like valuable veteran Katie Smith and central minded Ashley Robinson. Ladies that can play on either ends of the floor in parallel currents, AC/DC just like their theme song leaving their opponents ‘Thunderstruck’. Even after their brother ran off to Oklahoma in Sonic speed the Storm still stand alone proud, an only child to the city, carrying and making Seattle proud.
Seattle is famous for grunge music and bands like Pretty Girls Make Graves, but here it appears that real women make great basketball players. Maybe Pearl Jam (we see you Mookie Blaylock) should name their next album after the Storm. The city of Seattle needn’t fish for an NBA franchise, they’ve got a perfectly good team in the WNBA. A team that right now is the best in its league. Sure Sparks may fly and Shock and Mercury may rise but the Storm isn’t over now. Dreams may reach as high as the Sun, Sky and Stars but nothing is as high as the cloud the Storm sits upon. Up high above Liberty, Mystic, Lynk and the strongest Fever. Or in other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re from Los Angeles, Tulsa, Phoenix, Atlanta, Connecticut, Chicago, San Antonio, New York, Washington, Minnesota or Indiana. In the WNBA, 12 for 12 nothing right now goes to town with Seattle. Even if their 16 and 12 record is good for third in the West, they're still the reigning world women's basketball champion.
The city of Seattle weathered the storm of the Supersonics technically giving their roster away to Oklahoma and the Thunder and shone through the darkest cloud with a new team, better than ever. So the next time you see a gloomy cloud on the horizon out West and feel like there’s nothing to do, don’t just put up an umbrella, really take in the storm because with a team like Seattle you may have just saved your rainy day. Now tell me again what the WNBA told you about expecting great?