Russell Wilson said he felt ‘like Sue Bird in the clutch’ after a brilliant performance, and the WNBA legend explained why that’s important

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Russell Wilson gave Sue Bird a shoutout after his spectacular Sunday Night Football performance. Seattle Storm/AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

  • Russell Wilson told the press he felt “like Sue Bird in the clutch” after leading his Seattle Seahawks to an incredible comeback against the Minnesota Vikings during Sunday Night Football.
  • During an interview with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, Bird said that “in the larger landscape of sports, giving a female a shout out in that way, it means a lot.”
  • “Saying something like ‘Oh, I was like Sue Bird in the clutch,’ is putting it on the same level without the comparison,” Bird said. “So it does mean a lot and that was really cool for him to do and for me to see.”
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Russell Wilson led his Seattle Seahawks to an epic fourth-quarter comeback against the Minnesota Vikings during Sunday Night Football this week.

And when a member of the press asked the seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback what he was thinking during his final drive of the night, Wilson — who was wearing a No. 10 Seattle Storm jersey to the press conference — smiled and replied “I feel like Sue Bird in the clutch.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Duringan interview with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on "The Old Man and the Three" podcast a few days later, Bird mused about Wilson’s impact on the city of Seattle and how it felt to hear the NFL MVP frontrunner talk about her that way.” data-reactid=”38″>Duringan interview with JJ Redick and Tommy Alter on “The Old Man and the Three” podcast a few days later, Bird mused about Wilson’s impact on the city of Seattle and how it felt to hear the NFL MVP frontrunner talk about her that way.

“To have somebody who is representing the same place as you talk about you in that way, wear your jersey, I mean it does, it means a lot,” Bird said. “In the larger landscape of sports, giving a female a shout out in that way, it means a lot.”

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Sue Bird won her fourth WNBA title with the Seattle Storm a week before turning 40. AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The all-time WNBA assists leader and 11-time All-Star has certainly earned the high praise. Last week, she helped guide the Storm to their fourth WNBA title as a franchise, averaging a stunning 9.5 points and 9.2 assists per game through Seattle’s three-game sweep of the Las Vegas Aces in the Finals. This week, she turned 40.

Women’s sports — and particularly the WNBA — often attract disrespect from social media trolls. Bird attributes that hateful rhetoric, at least in part, to people “comparing male and female sports to each other.” During the podcast, the legendary point guard questioned why that comparison is necessary when the WNBA “is what it is, and it’s great in its own right.” Then she praised Wilson for paying tribute to a female athlete without falling into the trap of a direct comparison.

“Saying something like ‘Oh, I was like Sue Bird in the clutch,’ is putting it on the same level without the comparison,” Bird said. “And so it does mean a lot and that was really cool for him to do and for me to see.”

Plus, Bird said, “my dad was super hype.”

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Russell Wilson is a frontrunner to win this year’s NFL MVP award. AP Photo/Stephen Brashear

The four-time Olympic gold medalist has brought four WNBA championships back to Seattle since she arrived in the city via the first overall pick of the 2002 WNBA Draft, so she knows a thing or two about what it means to represent the Emerald City. And as a bona fide Seattle sports legend, Bird expressed nothing but the utmost respect for Wilson and his impact on her city.

“Russell has been in Seattle now for I don’t know how many years, but he represents Seattle in so many ways and represents Seattle sports,” Bird said. “He has brought greatness in terms of the Seahawks to the city.”

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