Is there any stopping one of Seattle’s greatest athletes ever?
SEATTLE — No sports fan could reasonably debate whether Sue Bird sits among all-time Seattle sports greats.
She does. Unquestionably.
The only reasonable question is, “can she be stopped?”
As 37-year-old Bird leads the Seattle Storm to the team’s third WNBA Finals berth, one has to wonder. Father time is undefeated in its battle against sports greats. Not to mention Liz Cambage and the Washington Mystics.
But can Bird be stopped? Now?
It’s an interesting question.
Game 1 of the WNBA Finals will be broadcast at 6 p.m. Friday on JOEtv.
A list of Bird's career achievements reads longer than a list of Mariners losing seasons. She's led the Storm to two WNBA championships. She has four Olympic gold medals. She's been voted to the WNBA All-Star team 11 times, and is a member of the league's All-Decade team.
"Sue Bird is arguably one of the best sports stars in Seattle history," Q13 Sports Director Aaron Levine said. "Two championships. Multiple gold medals. All-time records. And one of the most clutch athletes I've ever seen. She's legendary, and a future Hall of Famer for sure."
There's Bird's historic career. There's also her recent accomplishments.
On Tuesday, Bird -- broken nose and all -- put on one of the greatest fourth quarter displays ever. She knocked down three straight jumpers midway through the fourth quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers. After a contentious jump ball that left Bird screaming at officials begging for a foul, Bird added another 3 and pushed Seattle's lead to 84-76 with 2:51 remaining.
Of course, Bird didn't do it alone. League MVP Breanna Stewart led Seattle with 28 points and carried the scoring load through the first three quarters until Bird took over late.
But it was Bird's performance that garnered national attention.
"I don't know that I've had a fourth quarter like this in as big a game in my life, to be honest," Bird said after the game.
Q13 sports reporter Michelle Ludtka couldn't agree more.
"Sue Bird is the epitome of what athletes strive to be," Ludtka said. "She is talent, class, success and the best role model a person could be. She is a Seattle treasure and we are lucky to call her our own superstar."
Can the Mystics stop Bird and the Storm? The team has gone 1-2 against the Storm this season. And they have a similar style of play. According to DCist.com, the Mystics are "really good at three-point shooting" and have a crafty mix of veterans and young players.
Their sharpest player is Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 League MVP. The 29-year-old bruised her left knee in the Mystics' semifinals Game 2 loss against Atlanta. Many think that a Bird-Delle Donne match-up could be the biggest showdown in the WNBA.
The Mystics are hungry. The team had one playoff-round win before his year, and this is their first finals appearance.
But as the Mystics are hungry, it's Bird's hunger that never dissipates. Despite being the oldest player in the WNBA, she doesn't have plans to leave the league. In a GQ interview earlier this year, Bird hinted she had little plans for retirement.
"I think it got tiring two years ago," Bird told GQ. "Now, I'm numb to it (being asked about retirement), so I just kind of ignore it."