We start...with goosebumps. Because if you’ve seen the Storm in person at any point the last couple weeks, I guarantee that’s what you’ve felt.
I realize some viewers might not get it – and frankly, some never will. But that’s their loss – because the atmosphere inside KeyArena this weekend was by far the best in local sports. The quality of basketball was outstanding. And the fans in attendance were huge winners in the process.
Ask Jamal Crawford or Dejounte Murray. Ask Kam Chancellor or even Macklemore. They were all there Friday night. Ask Mayor Durkan or Nate Robinson, who was there both days. Or Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder, who was there today.
Ask anyone who’s ever experienced an event at The Key when it has that much energy, and they’ll understand. It’s what home court advantage is all about. And Seahawks game or not today, there was still a packed house at The Key – a group of more than 14,200 of some of the most loyal fans in sports, recognizing the championship opportunity at hand, and being there in full voice to support their team.
Now, I get it: For the majority of fans in the region, the Hawks opener was understandably the main focus today. Week One of the NFL also has our attention because all our fantasy teams are still in it. But this isn’t fantasy. This is real. Which means it’s even more important to emphasize the enormity of what the Storm are doing.
I mean, no local sports team has won two professional sports league championships - except for the Storm. And now they’re one win away from a third. And they’re doing it with the league’s MVP, another rising star, and one of the greatest and most clutch players in the history of the game.
So while some might not be paying attention, others are, like we saw this week. Others like Lebron James or Kobe Bryant – who both tweeted at Sue Bird during her incredible play down the stretch in Game 5 of the league semifinals.
Because at the end of the day, while these women don’t need the validation, they’re getting it from the best their sport has to offer. Because game recognizes game. Because these future Hall of Fame athletes have first-hand knowledge of the competitive situations in which they’re thriving.
And if you’re looking for a little symmetry, I’ll leave you with this: Video of the Sonics winning their lone title away from Seattle, facing Washington. The Storm will now have two chances – this Wednesday and Friday – to clinch a league title away from Seattle, also facing Washington.
Nothing is bigger – nothing gets better – than a championship opportunity.
And we’ll be there to document it all – and hopefully as they bring that trophy home too.