Sue Bird has seen a lot in her storied playing career in the WNBA, overseas and the Olympics. While nothing the 39-year-old Seattle Storm guard experienced has prepared her for life in the WNBA bubble, she is making the best of the situation.
The WNBA put all 12 of its teams at a single site — the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida — in hopes of playing the full 22-game season amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The bubble is part summer camp, mixed in with the Olympic village, playing overseas and an AAU tournament with a little bit of college life thrown in,” Bird said in a phone interview.
Two weeks into the experiment, players and coaches have been adjusting to their temporary homes.
“It’s like overseas, but a little bit easier as far as access to things as you can order in and it's less isolating since you have so many of your friends around,” Bird's teammate Breanna Stewart said. “In the end, getting here and seeing how everything has come to fruition, I know it’s going to work, as long as everyone’s smart and continues to be safe. We're trusting everyone that's here is going to be safe.”
Stewart is living in a villa with some of her Storm teammates while Bird is staying at the hotel on site. Players were given the option of where they wanted to live.
The street where the villas are located — a few minutes from the hotel — has the feel of a sorority row.
Each team was given two golf carts and they are usually parked in front of the villas where the players or operations staff are staying. Atlanta glossed up its carts with the team's new logo on the front.