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We all already know how this one ended, so there obviously won't be any surprises in this report. We did tape everything, so in addition to some event details, this will basically be a transcript of the important bits of the event.

There are a lot more people here than for last year's Draft. Of course, the anticipation is that Sue Bird will be the pick, but people are still speculating down to the wire. The top three names being talked about are Sue, Swin Cash and Stacey Dales. We are also wondering if there won't be an immediate trade after the pick is announced.

Doppler is here with a vengence. I think the twirly-headed freak has been bored in the offseason and is desperate for attention. He tries to steal the box of Krispy Kremes on at least a couple of occasions. he also claps the loudest when the Sonics & Storm ownership is introduced, the big suck-up.

The Draft Pick [from the ESPN broadcast]

Val Ackerman: Welcome to the NBA Entertainment Studios here in New Jersey site of the 2002 WNBA draft. I’d like to extend a very special welcome to all of our friends who are turning in on ESPN, NBA TV in Canada and to those who are following the events today on Our sixth season tips off on Memorial Day weekend with the addition of some of the greatest college players we have ever seen. These talented young women, many of whom are here today, represent the very best in womenÍs sports. So let’s get things underway. Seattle the first pick belongs to you.


ESPN commentator: Welcome back at the NBA Studios here in Sacaucus, New Jersey. And a lot of trade talk, a lot of trade talk last year when Seattle had the first selection. They decided to go with Lauren Jackson. They did not trade the pick. I spoke with Lin Dunn just a couple of night ago in Seattle. She said they had deals on the table with New York, Detroit and Washington and in the end, she wanted to hold on to this pick.

ESPN: Well, Washington was ready to give up the third and fourth selections. That was not enough. New York was ready to give up multiple starters and Madison Square Garden. And that was not enough. And also with New York Tari Phillips wasn’t in the equation, Lin Dunn didn’t want any part of that. I think the reason being 1 guards with the complete package are so hard to find that Bird’s value was just too hard to give up.

ESPN: Exactly, Lin Dunn to say you got a player like Sue Bird and again we talked about all of the other coaches in this league wanting Sue Bird. They wanted the number one pick and when you have somebody with this talent to be able to lead Conneticut to two national championships, she won all of the awards last year. It’s tough to give a pick like that up.

ESPN: Seattle last year won 10 games. How much better does Sue Bird make them?

ESPN: I think Sue makes them a lot better. And again people have to realize this is a very young team. Lauren Jackson, Semeka Randall, really made a difference with this team last year and they’ve gotten some good young talent, but chemistry is going to be important.

ESPN: How many W’s possibly for them? An extra 5 maybe?

ESPN: Well, you remember the WNBA is not a rookie league. That’s a fact of the matter. But Sue Bird makes any team better right away.

ESPN: Alright we have to go to Val Ackerman and she has the first selection for the Seattle Storm.

Val Ackerman: With the first pick of the 2002 WNBA draft, the Seattle Storm select Sue Bird from the University of Conneticut. [the crowd in the Furtado goes wild, can’t hear TV]

ESPN: …and she made a difference. I mean just not, just not with her scoring ability, where she can shoot any where on the floor, but her defensive, her passing ability, her ability to…and there is a leadership quality out there that…career points…45% three point shooter 89% free throw shooter, can’t ask for much more point guard than Sue Bird.

ESPN: You know, here’s the thing I talked to Lin Dunn. She said we have a five year plan. This is year number three it’s a nice way to get into the five year plan with Sue Bird, isn’t it?

ESPN: That’s no question. I just, she gives you what you need. Her first three years, Sue Bird was not interested in scoring. Why, because she had talent all around her. She comes to her senior year Conneticut needs scoring so she ups her scoring to 14 points a game.

ESPN: Well let’s go to Vera Jones with the number one pick, Sue Bird.

Vera Jones: Well, as I said, it went to the birds and it’s official now. You are the number one pick and there’s a lot of pressure that comes with that. How do you handle that pressure or what do you see as your biggest concern going in?

Sue Bird: You know there is a lot of pressure but if anything I hope all players thrive on that. And that’s what I expect to do. You know, I’m just going to go in there, it’s going to be a learning process, I’m going to be playing with a lot of great players. So, hopefully, I just be able to learn and accept the challenge.

VJ: Well, your teammate, well, now teammate, Lauren Jackson was the number one draft pick last year. What do you know about her and how do you think you can combine and see if you can come up with some W’s out there in Seattle?

SB: She’s Australian. I know that. I saw her play a couple times last year. She’s a great player. Like I said, I’m really looking forward to working with whoever is out in Seattle. I’m very happy to be going there. So, I don’t know, we’ll see what happens.

VJ: Let’s get back to you, Matt.

Matt: Thank you very much Vera. We are now joined by Storm head coach Lin Dunn from Seattle [she is in the "war room"]. And Lin Dunn [crowd drowns out Matt] …why did you decide at the end of the day to go with Sue Bird?

Coach Dunn: Well, it wasn’t at the end of the day. I think along we’ve had her at the top of our list. There wasn’t any doubt that we felt like she was the premier player in the draft. The biggest challenge was evaluating all the trade offers and the more the offers went up, the more I realized the value of Sue Bird and the first pick.

ESPN: Congratulations, Lin. Given the multiple starters that were offered to you for Sue Bird. Is there any chance now that once this draft is complete, you would still consider trading Sue?

CD: No. [emphatically with no hesitation]

ESPN: …with the type of player that Sue Bird is and in the WNBA, we’ve seen in the past that the point guard has not contributed a lot offensively but Sue Bird certainly is a special kind of player. How’d she fit into the offense here.

CD: Well, Sue Bird is the type point guard that doesn’t come along very often. I compared her to a blend of Jennifer Azzi and Dawn Staley. I think that Sue’s probably going to be our point guard in 2004 in the Olympics. I certainly believe that we couldn’t pass on this opportunity to take this type of scoring point guard that’s a winner and bring her into the Seattle Storm.

Matt: Well thank you very much Lin Dunn and all the best this summer in Seattle.

CD: Thank you. Matt: Alrighty. Detroit is up next… [applause too loud to hear]

Pete Winemiller [Sonics & Storm Director of Customer Relations]: Okay, the number one pick is done. How do we feel about Sue Bird? [crowd applause] Alright, a very good choice. Okay, I want to let everyone know, over here to my right we have a banner that Howard Schultz and Coach Dunn are signing. We would like all the fans to sign that. That banner is going to be given to Sue Bird, our number one pick, when she gets here. So, go on over, sign it and I think at this time we are going to have Coach Dunn for a few words. Coach Lin Dunn.

CD: Hey you guys. Thank you so much for coming this morning. It’s just a wonderful, wonderful day in Storm history. We are extremely excited about selecting Sue Bird with our first pick. We did a lot of thought, a lot of evaluation and we just felt like we could not pass on this young woman. She’s a winner. She can score. She can pass. She can talk. She can lead. She can do it. Before it’s over, you all gonna think she can fly. She is absolutely special. I had the opportunity to talk to her in Colorado Springs and she’s just as lovely in person as she is a player. So we are extremely excited about adding her to the mix of this team and what it’s going to do for our third season. So thank you guys for coming. I’m go back in there in the war room and get us somebody with the 19th pick, okay? Go Storm!

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