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Swoopes, Bird lend intrigue to WNBA season

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

May 24
I love the game of basketball. I enjoy watching it at all levels, whether it's college hoops (men's or women's), the NBA or WNBA, summer league, pickup games. I was driving by a couple of kids shooting hoops down here in Florida, seeing them drilling the jumper! There's nothing like seeing the ball tickling the twine. Give me my hoops, baby!

Sue Bird
Bird's-eye view: Sue Bird cut down two title nets for UConn.
The WNBA season starts Saturday, and it should be an interesting season. My buddy, Richie Adubato, coaches the New York Liberty. Go watch them play and I guarantee they will provide a clinic on defense. I just wish I had Richie's hairdo, baby -- I wish I had any kind of hair! I followed him coach back in high school and college before going to the pros.

There's a lot of talk about Sheryl Swoopes, who is coming back from a knee injury. She should make the Houston Comets contenders again. There's big news in Houston, whether the Houston Rockets will take Yao Ming or Jay Williams, but Swoopes will be a star this summer down there.

Before her injury, it was championship, championship, championship -- that's how good she is.

The Los Angeles Sparks hope to duplicate what the Lakers did, going back-to-back. Coach Michael Cooper knows a little bit about Showtime from his days on the court with the Lakers. Cooper is excited with Lisa Leslie, the Sparks' post presence. Think about what L.A. has in the middle with Shaq and Lisa Leslie!

There is more big news, as Bird is the WNBA's new word. I don't mean Larry Bird, but a young lady with that type of game: Sue Bird of Connecticut. All she did is help the Huskies go 39-0 last season. Now she will be a factor as the No. 1 pick of the Seattle Storm. Bird brings that winning mentality to Seattle, teaming up with the inside presence of former No. 1 pick Lauren Jackson.

Hey, UConn coach Geno Auriemma has to be thrilled to see four of his former stars going so high (in the top six) in the first round of the WNBA draft: Bird, Swin Cash to Detroit, Asjha Jones to Washington and Tamika Williams to Minnesota. They will be diaper dandies in the WNBA. The Connecticut women understand how to win and they should each help their respective teams.

Speaking of diaper dandies, Helen Darling of the Cleveland Rockers had triplets! That's awesome, baby, with a capital A!

The Indiana Fever have to be excited. They added Nikki McCray via a trade, and Tamika Catchings is finally healthy after sitting out with a knee injury.

There should be excitement galore in the WNBA this season. The diaper dandies should make big news. Jackie Stiles should avoid the sophomore jinx after a solid first season with the Portland Fire. But the big question is, can the Sparks repeat and offset the return of Swoopes in Houston?

Let the games begin, baby!

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