Storm head coach implores 'white guys' writing columns to respect Sue Bird, WNBA
The Seattle Storm dominated the WNBA championship on Tuesday, beating the Las Vegas Aces in the finals with a 92-59 win in Game 3.
It was the second championship in three seasons for Seattle and the fourth in franchise history since 2004.
Eleven-time all-star point guard Sue Bird was there for everyone. Breanna Stewart secured the MVP award for the finals, but Bird remains team leader at 39, averaging 10.4 points and 9.6 assists during the Seattle postseason.
Where does Bird stand in Seattle sports history?
Her résumé, which also includes four Olympic gold medals, raised a question for Storm head coach Gary Kloppenburg after Tuesday's victory. Is she the best athlete ever in Seattle?
Kloppenburg's answer was an emphatic yes. It came with a violent side of media criticism.
"Is Sue Bird the greatest athlete in Seattle of all time?"
"Oh yeah ... The women's game didn't get the respect and it's partly because of the white guys who write these columns." Pic.twitter.com/0sNDx9BBgR
- Dunk Bait (@DunkBait) October 7, 2020
"Oh yes," said Kloppenburg. "I don't know what's going on up there with these columnists. You all have to be aware of it, I think. ... Given what she's been doing in a couple of decades, it's really unprecedented.
"The other side of that is that women's games didn't get the respect - and in part because of the white guys who write these types of columns. You white guys are waking up out there. You're an incredible gender that can play basketball."
Gary Kloppenburg had problems with a local sports chatter in Seattle that Sue Bird didn't make due. (Photo by Julio Aguilar / Getty Images)
Debate sparked by Seahawk's columnist
Kloppenburg's message appears to be in response to Seattle Times columnist Bob Condotta. Condotta, who covers the Seahawks, recently tweeted this praise from quarterback Russell Wilson, who is starting an NFL MVP campaign.
The problem with thinking of an athlete in the history of professional sports in Seattle who played better than Russell Wilson is right now.
- Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) October 4, 2020
Condotta posted his tweet on a Sunday the Seahawks improved to 4-0 when Wilson scored his 16th touchdown in the league alongside two interceptions.
On the same Sunday, Bird recorded 16 points and 10 assists when the Storm took a 2-0 lead in the final.
Some struggled with Condotta's responses, including the Minnesota women's basketball coach and five-time WNBA All-Star Lindsay Whalen.
- Lindsay Whalen (@ Lindsay_13) October 5, 2020
Others pointed to another icon of the sport in Seattle.
Griffey Homer in 8 consecutive games.
- Danny O'Neil (@dannyoneil) October 4, 2020
There are sure to be some sports fans in Seattle who would stand up for point guard Gary Payton of the Sonics Hall of Fame. Or Bird's teammate on two of those championship teams and three-time WNBA MVP Lauren Jackson.
Kloppenburg did not settle this newly hatched sports debate in Seattle on Tuesday. But he made sure that Bird got the respect she deserves in conversation.
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