Numbers Geek
Sue Bird in the 2017 WNBA All-Star Game in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Imagine you’ve been working in the same job, for the same organization, for your entire career, through all the ups and downs, and suddenly you find yourself in the midst of your best year ever. That’s what happened to basketball star Sue Bird in 2018, as she led the Seattle Storm to the WNBA title.

On this episode of our Numbers Geek podcast, we’ll talk with Sue Bird about the numbers behind her record-breaking season, hear how she uses numbers to understand the game, and challenge her to solve a new “box score mystery” involving one of her most famous games.

Over the next few episodes of Numbers Geek, we’ll be speaking with celebrity guests about how they use numbers to inform their work and lives. We’ll have an upcoming episode with Peter Sagal of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and we’ll also be checking in with Bill Gates about the number that matters most to him.

We’re excited to start with Bird, the WNBA star who has had a big couple of years, both personally and professionally, leading the Seattle Storm to their third WNBA championship as she posted career highs in key stats such as field-goal and three-point shooting percentage, and assist-to-turnover ratio.

In addition, this offseason, Sue has been working with the NBA’s Denver Nuggets as a basketball operations associate, which has also given her a new perspective on the game and the numbers. We talk about that experience with Sue, as well.

The basketball box score mystery is in the final segment of the show, continuing a tradition that we started a few episodes back with our “Resident Numbers Geek” Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO, L.A. Clippers owner, and founder of our podcast partner USAFacts. We challenged Sue to identify one of her past games based just on the stats below.

Do you know which game it was? Listen to the episode above or subscribe to Numbers Geek to find out the answer.