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Storm's success as a team leads to a week full of individual accolades

Seattle Storm forward Swin Cash played 40 minutes against Indiana last week and played outstanding defense. <em>Photo courtesy of <a href="http://www.kailasimages.com" target="new">Kailas Images</a>.</em>
Seattle Storm forward Swin Cash played 40 minutes against Indiana last week and played outstanding defense. Photo courtesy of Kailas Images.

If it felt like you were hearing about the Seattle Storm a lot this week, it's because you were.

In fact, as I reflected on the week, I realized that the Storm received some sort of individual accolade on every single day of the week...and even two on some days. I can't say whether the steady stream of accolades is "unprecedented", but that shouldn't keep us from acknowledging that it's a testament to just how good this team is.

Sunday: Agler Named Head Coach of WNBA Team

No offense to Storm coach Brian Agler, but this first accolade of the week might have been the least of all of them.

"In regard to me coaching, it's all about the players and because it's based on the best record at this point," said Agler prior to Tuesday's game against the San Antonio Silver Stars. "I think it's a nice honor. It's all about them and they're the reason I'm going. And they're the reason they're going because they've played well and they've played well together as a team."

Monday: Jackson extends her own record for Player of the Week awards

Lauren Jackson is ridiculously good. Her league record 17 Player of the Week awards certainly speak to that. She's up for an ESPY as announced last Friday (if there had been a Saturday accolade, this could have been extended further). Then there's the way that she is just completely dominating games so far this season in what looks to be another MVP season. Even if you're not infected by Key Arena madness, it's easy to understand why people consider her the best player in the world.

With Lauren Jackson just seeming to dominate everyone in the WNBA, the effort to understand her in broader basketball terms has brought on a few NBA player comparisons. If the combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Tim Duncan with a dash of Dwight Howard defense doesn't work for you, how about Seth Kolloen's suggestion of Shawn Kemp? Nope, that doesn't really work either:

The SunBreak | Sports | Lauren Jackson is the Shawn Kemp of the Storm
Jackson's game has a facet that Kemp's never did--three-point shooting. Left alone 22 feet from the basket against San Antonio, L.J. didn't hesitate to fire in a three-pointer. She has 29 for the season, tops on the Storm.

In truth, Jackson is more dominating than Kemp ever was. Jackson has won two MVP awards, and looks headed for another this season.

That whole NBA comparison doesn't seem to be working very well. And that's exactly the point.

Tuesday: Sue Bird dominates Fan Favorite voting

Say what you want about the Fan Favorite voting, but whatever happened, Sue Bird ended up owning that thing.

WNBA.com: Top 10 Fan Favorites Announced for 2010 WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Balloting Presented by T-Mobile
The Seattle Storm’s Sue Bird led all players (127,490) in final returns of the 2010 "WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun" Balloting presented by T-Mobile USA, with San Antonio Silver Star Becky Hammon (116,391) finishing second.

Of course, Swin Cash and Lauren Jackson were named as favorites as well. So more gratifying? That they beat the San Antonio Silver Stars -- who feature four "top ten players" -- on Tuesday night, which obviously "proves" that they're stars are better...? Whatever.

Wednesday: SBN Seattle lists Bird as one of the top 5 most popular athletes in Seattle

OK, OK -- this is an absolutely shameless plug. SBN Seattle hasn't even been around a week so this is not really much of an "accolade". But it did trigger an interesting discussion: how is it that a WNBA player can be most popular in a city compared to baseball, football, or soccer players? Is it just because she's attractive?

Hmmm... how about... she's kinda good? Like maybe the best female point guard in the world right now? She's won a championship? And as winning teams go in Seattle, she's arguably the face of the cumulatively most successful team in the last decade of Seattle sports. As winning players in Seattle teams go, there really isn't another perennial all-star that has experienced as much success in the city. Bird might not be top 5 all-time and even right now, an argument could be made that Ken Griffey, Jr. should have been on that list. But let's not deny that Bird has appeal broader than the WNBA.

Thursday: Bird and Cash named to compete for Team USA against WNBA standouts in Stars at the Sun

This has been in the works for a while with Bird being a mainstay on Team USA and Cash have played before. However, yesterday's announcement did make their selections official.

WNBA.com: USAB Releases Roster for Stars at the Sun
Including six Olympic gold medalists, the official roster for the 2010 USA Basketball Women’s National Team that will compete in the WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun Game, was announced today by USA Basketball and the WNBA. WNBA vs. USA Basketball: The Stars at the Sun will be televised by ESPN at 3:30 p.m. (all times EDT) and the coverage will be presented by adidas. In addition to the game, the U.S. will conduct a training camp July 7-11 with all available members from the USA National Team pool participating. Named to compete in the game for USA Basketball were: Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Swin Cash (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever), Tina Charles (Connecticut Sun), Candice Dupree (Phoenix Mercury), Sylvia Fowles (Chicago Sky), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut Sun), Maya Moore (University of Connecticut), Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury) and Cappie Pondexter (New York Liberty) .

Overall, this much can be said about the Seattle Storm: as Agler said, part of the reason for this team's success is that they quite simply have players that can play basketball pretty well.