Adversity strikes the defending champs
With three championships over their 19-year history, the Seattle Storm are WNBA royalty. Yet it only took one week in April to shake the entire foundation of one of the WNBA’s steadiest franchises.
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First, on April 14, Breanna Stewart suffered an Achilles injury while playing overseas. The best player in the league and reigning MVP will miss the entire season, taking the air out of another Seattle team loaded with promise.
Later that same week, head coach Dan Hughes announced he had been diagnosed with cancer and would need surgery. He’s been around the team in training camp, but no timetable was given on a permanent return.
While Stewart rehabs and Hughes battles his diagnosis, however, the games must go on. Seattle opens the regular season on Saturday, May 25 at home against Phoenix.
The Storm’s damage may be irreparable, but it’s far from unworkable.
Stewart is the best player in the WNBA, but it takes more than that for a team to win a championship, and Seattle still has the pieces around her that helped deliver a title in 2018.
“I think we all understand that injuries are part of the game,” veteran guard Sue Bird told High Post Hoops. “Injuries happen and they suck and it’s ok to take a moment to understand that it sucks, but at some point, we have to move on and focus on who you do have on the team.”