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The legend of Sue Bird continues

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PostPosted: 09/13/18 7:13 pm    ::: The legend of Sue Bird continues Reply Reply with quote

“When we got Sue we knew that we were getting somebody really good, but you don’t know you’re getting a legendary player,”Auriemma said. “When we were recruiting Diana we knew we were. [Breanna Stewart], same thing. Maya Moore, same thing. When we recruited Sue, we were like, ‘Yeah, this kid’s going to be really good. I think she’s going to help us a lot.’ We didn’t know she was going to be what she is.”

What Bird has been is the the bold leader of every team she’s been on thanks to a competitiveness that her college coach deems unmatched.

“‘She’s all about ‘what can I do to make everyone else better.’”

“People know Diana [Taurasi] is maybe the best player ever,” Auriemma said of the WNBA’s best scorer and perennial leader in technical fouls. “But it’s in your face. Every game you watch you go ‘Holy ****’ this kid is unbelievable.”

Bird’s cut from a different cloth. She’ll credit the biggest night of her career to someone else and play off a jaw-dropping highlight as routine.

“She’s all about ‘what can I do to make everyone else better,’ Auriemma said. “When people do that, they’re sacrificing the way they’re perceived. They’re trying to divert attention from themselves.”

Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve instructs her teams to defend Bird differently depending on the quarter.

“I think she’s the greatest point guard of all time, and I had a really good one in Minnesota,” Reeve told SB Nation, referring to the recently retired Lindsay Whalen.

First of all, Reeve knows that Bird is too smart for a static approach.

“It doesn’t matter what coverage we’re in,” Reeve told SB Nation. “You can get away with it once, but you’re not gonna get away with it twice. Sue’s gonna figure it out.

Secondly, Reeve knows that Bird can impact the game in so many ways. Bird can be the Play Creator, The Mastermind, and The Executioner — and usually in that order. In the first three quarters, Reeve has her defense entice the league’s most creative passer to put up shots. It’s the last thing she knows Bird, a team player in the truest sense of the term, has on her mind so early in the game.

But that plan doesn’t work once it gets to crunch time. In the fourth frame, Sue Bird is inevitable.

She may be the oldest player in the league, but Bird’s still a matchup nightmare, even for the freshest competition to enter the league.

“It’s terrible,” Plum said about guarding her idol. “She never stops moving and her decisions are so crisp with so much pace. Honest to God of anybody I’ve played against in the WNBA, she’s probably my least favorite person to guard.”

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