Times reporter Jayda Evans will have a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week it is Storm All-Star Sue Bird, who joined the team Sunday after knee surgery in May and a two-day stint as an ESPN analyst. She’ll rehab this summer in Seattle in hopes she will return for the 2014 season.
Q: Welcome back, where are you with your post-surgery rehab?
Bird: Still letting the work that the doctor did heal. It’s probably another six weeks before I can really run or do any kind of impact exercise. So, still boring for an athlete but as long as I’m healing, that’s all I could ask for. The X-rays the doctor took about a week ago looked really good.
Q: During your rehab in Connecticut, you said it was weird not being with the team. Have your feelings changed now that you’re back?
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Bird: I really wasn’t aware of how much I missed it until I got there yesterday (Sunday). Then you’re like, ‘Oh, wait a minute. I can’t play. I can’t do anything. I can just cheer.’ Which isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I would’ve preferred to have it different. Now that I’m back, it’s almost weirder than it was before because now I’m around it.
Q: The collective-bargaining agreement is up at the end of the season and there’s a lot of talk about adding an injury-reserve list. What can players realistically negotiate?
Bird: (Increasing) the roster number is actually a good starting point because that’s actually super important moving forward. Where that falls in terms of the priority list, I’m not quite sure. There are people like Tamika Catchings and Ruth Riley who are very involved.
Q: You said broadcast work at ESPN was tiring.
Bird: As an athlete, you go out there, you play a game and you’re mentally tired but more physically. This was a lot of focus and you have to be on and you have to be ready and you don’t want to sound stupid.
Q: Was it hard to critique people you’re still going to compete with and against?
Bird: That’s the hardest part. Who likes to be critiqued? But it’s almost a major part nowadays. I tried to do my best to be mean, but really I just wanted to be honest. They kept telling me, you have to talk about (the negatives) not just the positives.
Q: So, you wore your hair two different styles; which did you like best on-camera?
Bird: I liked it wavy. It was something different and cool. But I have the Japanese-straighter, so to wear my hair wavy isn’t an easy task.
Q: I asked my Twitter followers if they had a question for you and one wants to know if you’re more likely to pursue coaching at UConn or broadcast?
Bird: Have you been to Storrs? It’s very boring. Between those two, I’d have to lean toward broadcasting.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.