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July 22, 2017

Sue Bird

Diana Taurasi

Seattle, Washington - Postgame

West - 130, East - 121

Q. Diana, what did you play for today?
DIANA TAURASI: I think everyone in that locker room played for the fans today. I think everyone was really excited to go out there and play in front of the Seattle fans because we know how hard and difficult it is to come here and try to win a game when they're on top of you and they're getting into you. I think everyone was anticipating this vibe in there, and during the introductions you felt that vibe, especially when Sue came down and they gave her a standing ovation for five minutes. You felt that energy.

I think we played for the fans tonight, and to put on a good show.

Q. Sue pointed at herself. She thinks you dedicated the game to her.
DIANA TAURASI: Yeah, and I played for Sue, too. I mean, when you're 40 and you can run around like that, that's something to play for, I guess.

Q. The two of you have played a number of games together, a number of All-Stars. How special was this to continue that tradition I guess you can call it?
SUE BIRD: It is special. It is special. I think we've actually had moments more so at the Olympics where it's like, we've played together a lot, we've done this a lot, it's coming to -- it's slowly coming to an end. I don't think either of us really take it for granted. We know that, yes, we've played a ton together, but maybe this is the last time we get to be on the same court, you know. So we definitely click right away. It's seamless. We fall right back into it, and it's always fun.

DIANA TAURASI: It's funny because one of our friends we went to college with before the game, she goes, congrats to the oldest All-Star duo of all time, so I need a fact-check on that. I don't want that to be true. (Laughter.)

Q. I wanted to ask about the three-point contest. Sue, probably not the outing you were hoping for there. What happened, and how did you feel like it went overall?
SUE BIRD: Well, I missed a lot. That's what happened. No, I mean, the three-point contest, regardless of winning or losing, I think it's great. I mean, it really makes you wonder why we haven't had it for the last couple years, and I think the excitement of it, the energy of it, it's fun, and you do, as one of the competitors, you get a little butterflies in your stomach. It's just you, everybody is watching, and I think it's a good energy. It's a great thing to have at the All-Star Game, so I thought it went well. Happy for Allie. That was my pick, to be honest. I thought she was going to win.


SUE BIRD: So all in all, I think it was great.

Q. Coach Miller talked about the young players and how many of the players in the West are in their fourth quarter. How do you guys feel about the comparison --
DIANA TAURASI: How about this, Coach Miller? Fourth quarter that. (Laughter.)

SUE BIRD: I think that sums it up.

Q. Kind of building off of that, in the East there were a lot of new players. Anyone in particular kind of stick out to you?
DIANA TAURASI: Jonquel Jones is going to be a problem in this league for a long time. With her stature and the way she can handle the ball, shoot the ball, she works so easy on the court, and I just think she's got a really bright future.

SUE BIRD: Yeah, that skill set at that height, and like she said, there's something like -- she's very -- she just flows out there. It's fun to watch. She did great.

Q. Sue, speaking of Allie, when you played with her, could you have envisioned her becoming an All-Star, doing all this?
SUE BIRD: This was the chatting on the bench that was happening during today's game. So she's played in Phoenix and Seattle early in her career, so we were having a conversation. I don't want to take your words, but so in Seattle she was trying to be this backup point guard. Our team was trying to make her a backup point guard, and she's a scorer, clearly, and I think for her, her game just evolved when she went overseas, and she learned how to be the focal point, and she learned how to like take on that responsibility, and then came back to the WNBA, did great as a sixth man, and slowly you can see she's made the transformation into a go-to player. So the schedule -- in practice I'd have to guard her a lot, so she's always been able to do that. It was not easy guarding her in practice. But for us, she was at that point guard spot so it didn't necessarily make sense, and then D had some good points, too.

DIANA TAURASI: Yeah, you could tell early on she had something special about the way she can score the basketball, and you know, she filled out a little bit physically, and now you can just tell she's a confident basketball player. She knows what she does really well, and she's one of the best in the world at the pull-ups, and obviously the three-point contest she showed what kind of touch she has. I think a long time for Q was about confidence, and I think she's reached that point where she's a confident basketball player, and she's playing at that level.

Q. You guys both had a conversation with Jonquel right at the end of the game. I'm curious if you could take me through what that conversation was and how seriously you both take your legacy and sort of trying to pass that along.
SUE BIRD: Well, she's apologized for missing my party, so that was the conversation. She said she was tired. She's probably the only one that got rest last night, hence the 24 points. I'll let you take this one.

DIANA TAURASI: I just said, keep the wave going. Use this momentum because it's moments like this that for a young kid can go a long way. She just has a certain ability that not many people have, so if she puts herself in the right positions as far as playing basketball and taking it serious and really wants to be one of the best to ever play, not everyone has that set of skills, so I just told her to keep the wave going. Keep it wavy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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