Sue Bird Rumors
An offshoot of the longstanding voter registration organization Rock The Vote, Hoopers Vote took part in this week’s National Voter Registration Week by having ambassadors from the NBA and WNBA communities, including media that cover the league, publicly push people to make sure they’re registered to vote on multiple social media sites beginning on Thursday. A new website, hoopersvote.org, links to Rock The Vote and its various initiatives. Emmy Award-winning actress and producer Kerry Washington is taking part in the campaign. Current NBA players including Jackson, Duncan Robinson, Collin Sexton and Langston Galloway are taking part; WNBA stars Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Nneka Ogwumike, Elena Delle Donne and Renee Montgomery are on board, along with Hall of Famers Lisa Leslie and Rebecca Lobo. NBA Hall of Famers taking part include James Worthy and Alex English, along with media members such as Kenny Smith and Steve Smith of Turner Sports and Jalen Rose of ESPN. Warriors assistant coach Jarron Collins and his twin brother Jason, the former NBA big man, are also ambassadors.
Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird sat next to Bryant and Gigi at the WNBA All-Star Game last July in Las Vegas. The four-time Olympic gold medalist — at the game with girlfriend and U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe — was sidelined with a knee injury. They got a chance to chat with Bryant and Gigi while watching many of the best women’s basketball players in the world. “He just really wanted to expose Gigi to as much greatness as he could,” Bird said. “He wanted her to meet Megan, to meet me. I know he’s taken his whole family to Megan’s soccer games. He’s been very present in the WNBA. He was going on this journey with his daughter, and I think we could all feel that it was going somewhere special. For him as a father, for her as a future basketball player, for them in that father-daughter relationship.”
Michael Singer: Had good chat w/ Sue Bird at last night’s #Nuggets home opener. She won’t be with the team this year as she tours with USA Basketball ahead of next year’s Olympics. She said last year’s experience in front office was fantastic and she’d love to work with them in the future.
The National Basketball Association has invested in Nex Team Inc., a mobile artificial intelligence company that has developed HomeCourt, an iPhone-based training application aimed toward youth basketball players. Nex Team had already attracted a wide range investors, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Brooklyn Nets co-owner Joe Tsai, Mason and Miles Plumlee, Al Horford, Sue Bird, Steve Nash and Bradley Beal.
The 18-year WNBA veteran doesn’t give retirement a lot of thought, but she has options in coaching, broadcasting and now front-office management whenever she decides to end a her playing career. “It is kind of cool to think that we are a part of his trail blazing group and we are breaking down doors,” Bird said. “In my mind, women’s basketball players are an untapped resource. Now we’re at a point where the league has been here for 22 years. We have players who have years and years of professional basketball experience.”
The NBA has traditionally been the most progressive of the American sports leagues. “You’re just trying to do your best and when the opportunity presents itself, you’re trying to take advantage of it,” Bird said. “But I think simultaneously, in the back of all of our heads, we do realize that we’re breaking down barriers. Before Becky, there was Nancy Lieberman, but Becky is really the one who’s heading the charge. Because of Becky and her success, it has opened other franchise’s eyes. And now not only their eyes, but their doors.”
Sue Bird says the best part of her new gig is scouting. “Actually Becky Hammon was one of the first people to tell me this, one of the hardest parts is just learning the personnel because there’s so many players,” Bird said. “So you just want to always have an understanding and a grasp of who’s out there. And the only way to do that is to get out there and watch.”