Sue Bird Sep 24, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Sue Bird, fiance of United States forward Megan Rapinoe (not pictured) looks on before the game between the United States and South Africa at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

TNT presented an entertaining 1-on-1 3-point contest between WNBA superstar Sabrina Ionescu and multi-time NBA MVP and living legend Stephen Curry. Curry and Ionescu met in an exciting matchup, dubbed ‘Sabrina vs. Stephen,’ that ended in climactic fashion. Curry edged Ionescu by one point, 27-26, to win the historic 3-point contest.

But after the exciting conclusion, things soured a bit. TNT’s Kenny Smith became the subject of significant criticism for comments he made following the contest’s conclusion. Smith and Reggie Miller engaged in a needless debate that irritated viewers.

It makes you wonder: Could TNT have done anything to prevent this from happening? It might not have been a direct response, but WNBA legend Sue Bird offered up one suggestion on Sunday. It’s as simple as, “Could having a woman at the desk help?”

“We needed a woman on the headsets, too,” Bird said. “So much nuance and storytelling missed. 26 is 26, tho.”

It’s a solid point, and when you take the time to think about it, it feels like a miss on TNT’s behalf. Because it’s not as if the network lacks women who can hang in the booth. Candace Parker, this season alone, has appeared on Inside the NBA. Parker is a name with legitimacy and pedigree and could have easily provided analysis, insight, and perspective in the booth. Perspective alone could have helped things out majorly.

Whether Parker or any woman in the booth would have curbed Smith from saying what he said isn’t clear. But in an ideal world, you’d figure he’d have enough sense not to say the things he did with Parker beside him in the booth. There’s a respect factor, and while it’s inexcusable that it didn’t exist last night, it could have been tangible.

On a night where there were a few whiffs, this one feels like something that should have been patched up beforehand.

[Sue Bird]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022