Dishin' it with Sue Bird
Storm star Sue Bird sits down with The Seattle Times for an exclusive Q&A.
Storm point guard Sue Bird talks with assistant sports editor Jon Fisch about re-signing with the Storm, her music taste, video games and flying with the Blue Angels.
Q. If you were to put together your all star team, who would be the five players on it?
Bird: Diana (Taurasi), Lauren (Jackson), Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker and I guess myself. If not myself, then probably Becky Hammon.
Q. What's been your favorite moment in all the all-star games you've played in?
Bird: The All-Star games that I played in New York. There were two of them. Those were the most fun because my family and friends get to come. Both times I had a little party after where I invited everybody I knew in life. And that was awesome.
I guess the through-the-legs pass to Lauren would probably be my favorite highlight.
Q. The baseball all-star game is meaningful, do you have any thoughts on the WNBA doing something like that?
Bird: Naw, I don't foresee it. I think it's because of how you play your position in baseball. There's not someone guarding you. I think for basketball it would be kind of weird to throw together 11 people and have them go play. I think it would be hard.
Q. You're a little past the halfway point of the season, how would you grade the Storm so far?
Bird: I would say a C+/B- but headed toward a B or higher. I think the best thing about the first half of the season is just our improvement. We've had to deal with a lot of injuries. For us to have some rocky moments but be able to learn from them and improve says a lot about our team.
Q. What grade would you give yourself?
Bird: I'm sure a lot of people see the scoring and my numbers are up from previous years, and they probably think I'm doing well. But for me, as a point guard, it's really about how the team is playing so I'd have to give myself the same grade. A lot of my job is to make us play as a cohesive unit, and you don't always see that, so I take full responsibility.
Q. What do you think is the biggest challenge you have in the second half?
Bird: I think it's going to be a tight race in the end for playoff spots. A, just making the playoffs, and B, hopefully getting home-court advantage, at least in the first round. Minnesota is really making a case for themselves to run away with it and we just want to stay as close as possible and jockey for position. It's going to be hard though because you have a lot of teams in the West who are playoff capable.
Q. Do you think Minnesota is your biggest challenger to repeat?
Bird: That's a team in particular where we really miss Lauren. How they play, what they like to do, Lauren would probably have success against it. We've missed her a lot of times, but in particular against that team. They're just playing really well. They're really deep. I think one of the most impressive things is none of their starters average more than 30 minutes. That says a lot about their depth. That's where they separate themselves from other teams. They sub two, three, four at a time.
Q. Lauren is back practicing, how does she look?
Bird: She's looking good. Sometimes with rehab the hardest part about trying to get back on the court can be at the end, trying to get your conditioning, trying to get in the groove of things. But in terms of her health, I know she's doing really well in her rehab and that's all you can ask for at this point.
Q. Do you think you'll have her back for the playoffs?
Bird: I hope so.
Q. Seattle sports teams have had a lot of transactions this week, between the Seahawks, Mariners and the Storm resigning Lauren, which one will have the biggest impact?
Bird: On my life in Seattle? Lauren. To be honest, I heard a little about the Seahawks, I didn't hear much about the Mariners. We've been on the road a long time.
Q. Are you going to sign a long-term deal like she did?
Bird: Possibly. It's something that Brian (Agler) brought up a couple days ago. It's something I need to talk about to my agent and the ownership and things like that.
Q. Do you want to wait until the end of the season, or while it's still going on?
Bird: There are some rules where it benefits everybody if I sign during the season. If I wait, then I become an unrestricted free agent and then ... there are all these rules! Too many! Assuming Seattle is the place I want to be, she says with an eye roll, it would benefit everybody for me to sign within the season. So I don't know why that wouldn't happen.
Q. If you were stranded on a desert island, what two CDs would you bring with you?
Bird: I'd have to say Adele's "21." No mixed tapes involved? I'm going to go with Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill." That's one you never have to hit skip.
Q. You have a reputation of being big into hip hop and R&B, how did you get into that?
Bird: I think just growing up in New York. The radio was always on, and my friends always listened to it. And particularly when I moved to Queens, and in that basketball world. You know how hip hop and basketball kind of go together? I was always exposed to it and I took a liking.
Q. Is there any music you're not crazy about?
Bird: Not a huge country fan. There are some country songs I like, but I've never bought a country CD or anything like that. Jazz is one of those things where if you're in the mood, it's good background music.
Q. What's the best concert you've ever seen?
Bird: I went to Lollapalooza when I was a little kid. My sister was working an ice-cream truck, so I went with her. Beastie Boys, George Clinton, I think Smashing Pumpkins ... I'm forgetting a big one. But it was cool because it was an all-day thing and they had all the tents set up. Some people got a little messy there, but I was 13, so I was like "what the hell is going on?".
Q. Have you ever made it to Bumbershoot or any of the local events?
Bird: I've never been to Bumbershoot. Sometimes we're not here, and other times we'll have a game. Lauren got tickets this year, so I might go with her.
Q. Any concerts you want to see?
Bird: Yes, Adele. She's coming on the 12th. A bunch of us got tickets and we're real excited.
Q. Did you get good seats?
Bird: I don't know, Lauren got them. Lauren seems to be the ticket master on this team.
Q. If you were a DJ, what would your DJ name be?
Bird: I made some CDs for a friend of mine in high school. He's my best friend growing up, and he used to joke "DJ Q-dub, I need another CD." I know the "Q" is from Suzie Q. Where the "Dub" comes from, who knows. But he would always call me "Q-dub" as a joke.
Q. When you play Mario Kart, what character are you?
Bird: I've never played Mario Kart. Ask me Mario Brothers: Mario. Forget Luigi.
Q. Do you have a Wii or an Xbox or anything like that?
Bird: I do have a Wii, it was a gift. I've maybe turned it on three times. I'm not a gamer. I was into Nintendo growing up.
Q. What was your favorite Nintendo game growing up?
Bird: Contra, Marble Madness, Double Dribble, Excitebike, all the classics. I can get down with the classics. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, of course.
Q. If the Blue Angels invited you to fly with them, would you do it?
Bird: Yeah, I'd do it, as long as I don't throw up all over the place.
Q. Are you an adrenaline junkie?
Bird: Not particularly, in that situation (flying with the Blue Angels), I feel safe. I'm not going to go bungee jumping or anything like that.
Q. What about roller coasters?
Bird. I like roller coasters. I've been on the one on Coney Island, I can't remember the name. That one is frickin' scary. Cause it's like "creek, creek, creek, creek, creek" you feel like it's going to fall apart on your way up.
Q. Have you ever gone skinny dipping off Alki?
A. I've witnessed Lauren go skinny dipping off Alki. I've never done it myself. I was the smart one, not freezing my butt off.
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