Sue Bird is one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and she will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer when her incredible career concludes, as she has won and dominated at every level from college to the WNBA to international competition.
Before we get into what happened on Sunday night, I think it’s important to note that the legend was taken down by Erica Wheeler of the Sparks on a vicious stepback.
Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm is one of the game’s all-time greats, but that doesn’t keep her from being on the wrong end of highlight-reel material. This was the case on Sunday when Erica Wheeler of the Los Angeles Sparks performed an epic crossover on the WNBA legend.
Bird attempted to close the gap on Wheeler, who drove to the right elbow midway through the first quarter. Knowing that the 40-year-old was coming at her with speed, Wheeler chose to stop and take a step back for the jumper. The bird was thrown to the floor as a result of this.
ERICA WHEELER WITH THE SHAKE AND BAKE 🔥 pic.twitter.com/TTfvZFQY31— NBA TV (@NBATV) September 13, 2021
As Wheeler approached the right elbow, Bird completely turned to try to cut off her driving lane and pulled the string on a tight crossover for a stepback jumper, sending Bird crashing to the court as half of her body tried to stop while the other half kept going, resulting in her tripping over herself.
The replays show the Hall of Famer tripping over her own feet and collapsing to the floor as Wheeler steps back for the jumper to complete the WNBA’s move of the year.
There’s no off-hand pushing Bird or a trip from someone else’s feet, just Wheeler executing a perfect, tight crossover to pull it back and rise for the jumper as the legend fell face-first to the floor. It’s a reminder that anyone, even one of the best players in history, can have their ankles broken if they’re not careful.
Wheeler finished with 17 points, two rebounds, and four assists. Bird, on the other hand, had a rather pedestrian outing, scoring three points and grabbing one rebound in two minutes of action.
Aside from the victory, Erica Wheeler will be remembered for her play on Sue Bird, which could be the ankle breaker of the season.