After the Indiana Fever upset the Sue Bird-less Seattle Storm 90-84, ending the Storm's nine-game winning steak, Fever head coach Marianne Stanley had some harsh words.
"I know nobody in this damn building except us expected us to win," Stanley said. "Shame on everybody, we just spanked you and taught you a lesson. Yeah, I'm pissed because I got a good team."
When asked about Stanley's comments, Sue Bird said they were "funny" and that she doesn't decide to play or not play based "on another team, especially not Indiana."
"I think they forgot that they were going to have to see me in the lunch line and have to see me in the elevator," Bird told ESPN. "So that was kind of funny. I've never based a decision about my body on another team, especially not Indiana, so it is what it is.
"Luckily, we get to play them on Tuesday."
Stanley later denied that her comments were directed towards Bird, despite her guard namedropping the WNBA legend by name.
"That comment wasn't directed at Seattle, it was just directed at that you could feel no offense to anybody but some of the questions were that the outcome was already decided before we played the game," Stanley said. "Nothing's decided before the game is played. ... I respect Gary (Kloppenburg) immensely; he's a terrific coach, obviously they're terrific team, and Bird is legendary in terms of what she brings to the table.
"The point was, nothing's decided before the game's played and everybody has to decide what they need to for the best interest of their team. For me, I could feel entering the building that there was just an underestimation of our team. And so I was speaking to that, as opposed to anything else."
Tuesday evening, with the Storm riding a two-game losing streak, Sue Bird once again did not play due to knee injury, but this time, Seattle had little issues taking care of Indiana, defeating the Fever 87-74 to advance to 12-3.
"We just wanted to get back to ourselves... It was nice that we had a quick turnaround... You know, just get back to what we do. Win," Breanna Stewart told ESPN's Holly Rowe after the game.
As for if the win felt a little sweeter after Stanley's comments, Stewie decided to take the high road.
"Listen, we're about winning. Taking it one game at a time. If they wanna have drama that's on them. We were focused on winning this game and that's it."
The 2018 WNBA MVP had herself a game scoring 27 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out four assists.
Basketball is played on both ends of the floor and the Storm used their defense to jumpstart their lethal fastbreak attack that was 2nd in the WNBA heading into the contest.
"We got a lot of stops. We got our hands on balls and we got a lot of open layups in transition," added Stewart. "When we get that it makes it hard on teams to handle [us]"
The Storm has 16 fastbreak points off of 18 Fever turnovers. Overall, the Fever shot 39.1% from the floor while Seattle shot 50%.
Next up, Seattle will take on the Las Vegas Aces with first place in the WNBA at stake. Tip-off's scheduled for Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 p.m. PT. The Aces won the last game Saturday 82-74.