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.
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.
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.
[from the ESPN broadcast]
Welcome to the NBA Entertainment Studios here in New Jersey
site of the 2002 WNBA draft. Id 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 WNBA.com. 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 lets get things underway. Seattle the first
pick belongs to you.
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.
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 wasnt
in the equation, Lin Dunn didnt want any part of that.
I think the reason being 1 guards with the complete package
are so hard to find that Birds value was just too hard
to give up.
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. Its tough to give a pick like that up.
Seattle last year won 10 games. How much better does Sue Bird
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 theyve gotten some good young talent, but chemistry
is going to be important.
How many Ws possibly for them? An extra 5 maybe?
Well, you remember the WNBA is not a rookie league. Thats
a fact of the matter. But Sue Bird makes any team better right
Alright we have to go to Val Ackerman and she has the first
selection for the Seattle Storm.
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, cant hear TV]
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
45% three point
shooter 89% free throw shooter, cant ask for much more
point guard than Sue Bird.
You know, heres the thing I talked to Lin Dunn. She
said we have a five year plan. This is year number three its
a nice way to get into the five year plan with Sue Bird, isnt
Thats 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.
Well lets go to Vera Jones with the number one pick,
Well, as I said, it went to the birds and its official
now. You are the number one pick and theres 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?
You know there is a lot of pressure but if anything I hope
all players thrive on that. And thats what I expect
to do. You know, Im just going to go in there, its
going to be a learning process, Im going to be playing
with a lot of great players. So, hopefully, I just be able
to learn and accept the challenge.
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 Ws out there in Seattle?
Shes Australian. I know that. I saw her play a couple
times last year. Shes a great player. Like I said, Im
really looking forward to working with whoever is out in Seattle.
Im very happy to be going there. So, I dont know,
well see what happens.
Lets get back to you, 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?
Well, it wasnt at the end of the day. I think along
weve had her at the top of our list. There wasnt
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.
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
No. [emphatically with no hesitation]
with the type of player that Sue Bird is and in the
WNBA, weve seen in the past that the point guard has
not contributed a lot offensively but Sue Bird certainly is
a special kind of player. Howd she fit into the offense
Well, Sue Bird is the type point guard that doesnt come
along very often. I compared her to a blend of Jennifer Azzi
and Dawn Staley. I think that Sues probably going to
be our point guard in 2004 in the Olympics. I certainly believe
that we couldnt pass on this opportunity to take this
type of scoring point guard thats a winner and bring
her into the Seattle Storm.
Well thank you very much Lin Dunn and all the best this summer
Thank you. Matt: Alrighty. Detroit is up next
too loud to hear]
[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.
Hey you guys. Thank you so much for coming this morning. Its
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. Shes a winner.
She can score. She can pass. She can talk. She can lead. She
can do it. Before its over, you all gonna think she
can fly. She is absolutely special. I had the opportunity
to talk to her in Colorado Springs and shes 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 its
going to do for our third season. So thank you guys for coming.
Im go back in there in the war room and get us somebody
with the 19th pick, okay? Go Storm!