For those of you who are stabbing your LeBron James voodoo dolls with a fork while trying your damndest to will the Miami Heat to their fourth NBA championship in franchise history, you’re watching the wrong series. Because last night, the Seattle Storm beat the Heat to the punch and collected their fourth championship trophy after dismantling the Las Vegas Aces in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.
Propelled by a 26-point outburst from Breanna Stewart and a 19-point, nine rebound outing from Jewell Loyd, the Storm swept the series and demolished the Aces 92-59 for their second championship in the last three seasons.
“It’s been a really tough but rewarding season,” ageless wonder Sue Bird told reporters after the game. “This group, we’re chill. We’re actually kind of made for a wubble. We don’t get too high with stuff, we don’t get too low. I think you saw that off the court with what we stood for, and you saw it on the court with how we played.”
The term “wubble,” of course, was in reference to the WNBA bubble that this season was played in order to sidestep the coronavirus. The WNBA season was also dedicated to seeking justice for Breonna Taylor and the Say Her Name campaign, though Loyd took a moment after the game to pay tribute to two other people who are near and dear to her heart: Kobe and Gianna Bryant.
“This year has been a lot for me,” Loyd said while fighting back tears. “This is for Kobe, Gigi, the Bryant family and for Breonna Taylor. We had a lot of emotions coming into this game.”
The bond between Loyd and Kobe was close. She not only grew up idolizing him but eventually, they forged a relationship in which the Lakers legend helped her strengthen her game and even gave her the nickname Gold Mamba—a play off of his own infamous Black Mamba monicker. She also wears No. 24 in his honor.
“For me, this season, I had to pay [tribute] to him,” Loyd said, “This is my first season without him. I just focused in. [...] He’s the first person to ever believe in me before I got into the league. It’s special.”
Stewart, who missed the entire 2019 season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, was named the Finals MVP for a second time after setting a WNBA record by scoring 20 or more points in six consecutive WNBA Finals games.
Simply put, the woman is a beast.
“Obviously, I got hurt in 2019,” Stewart said. “The future was a little unknown for me as far as the comeback. To be able to come back to this group, Seattle, the team, the owners, the entire franchise, everybody supported me and helped me get to this point.”
And for anyone foolish enough to think this team can’t run it back, I’ve got some bad news for you:
Sounds like the birth of a dynasty to me.
All praise due to the Seattle Storm.