Seattle Storm

Bird and Stewart discuss quick turnaround from Olympics to Commissioner's Cup

Seattle Storm

It's hard to believe that the Tokyo Olympics wrapped up five days ago.

Time flies.

But that’s also not very much time at all for the Olympic WNBA stars to get back to the grind of the regular season.

Coming off Sunday's Olympic gold medal game, the WNBA returns from its Olympic break with the inaugural Commissioner's Cup Championship Game.

The defending WNBA champs the Seattle Storm will battle it out against the rising Connecticut Sun on a neutral court in Phoenix.

Not only are bragging rights up for grabs but a total of half a million dollars is as well. 

The Storm are atop of the WNBA standings at 16-5. 

 

Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd are back with the team after winning gold medals with Team USA. This season, Bird is looking for her fifth WNBA title to go along with her fifth Olympic gold. While Stewart is chasing her second WNBA MVP, averaging 20.6 points per game for third best in the league. 

Following Seattle’s shootaround on Thursday, Stewart mentioned how the Commissioner's Cup has a feel of overseas bonuses, but right now she’s just focusing on the game.

"Going to continue to focus and playing Connecticut first and the prize after," Stewart said.

Players on the winning team will each earn at least $30,000. Players on the losing team will earn $10,000, and the MVP of the contest will earn an additional $5,000.

But how are Bird and Stewart feeling after just returning to the States days ago?

"Now that we're back we're starting to see how quick of a turnaround it is,” Bird explained. “Not much practice time... This game puts a wrinkle in rest or practice time... It is what it is. You just go through it. The team did a lot of great work while we're gone and are excited to showcase that tonight. The three of us will fit in where we can."

Seattle is 2-0 on the season series against Connecticut.

Throughout the first half of the season each team had 10 "Cup games" -- the first home game and first road game against each foe in its conference. Those games counted towards the Commissioner's Cup standings.

The Sun went 9-1 in Commissioner’s Cup games, while the Storm went 8-2 against Western Conference teams in their Commissioner’s Cup contests.

Seattle and Connecticut will tip off at the Footprint Center in Phoenix at 6 p.m. PT on Thursday, Aug. 12.