Sue Bird Says The Wine Is Working For LeBron James

In an appearance on ESPN's 'The Jump,' Bird discussed how veteran athletes are affected by the sports stoppage.
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Sue Bird said the sports stoppage because of the COVID-19 pandemic could have big consequences for veteran athletes. 

"Even I think back one year ago, and I was a totally different person body-wise," Bird said in an appearance on ESPN's "The Jump." 

Bird, 39, is an 11-time All-Star and three-time WNBA champion with the Seattle Storm. 

"They always say you can't beat Father Time. I always joke back, 'I'm actually not trying to beat him, I'm just trying to tie,'" Bird said. "Like, If I could just stay how I am for a little bit longer, hold on a little bit longer."

Rachel Nichols, who hosts "The Jump," joked that Bird should make sure to keep drinking wine, referencing her Instagram Live chat with Diana Taurasi, Megan Rapinoe, and Penny Taylor last Saturday that lasted hours and included a lot of wine. 

Bird laughed and pointed to another successful veteran athlete who loves wine. 

"I'm sure all of you follow LeBron [James] on Instagram, it seems like the wine is working," Bird said. 

James, 35, was having an MVP-caliber season before everything came to a screeching halt on March 11. In his 17th season in the league, he was leading the league in assists (10.6), while averaging 25.7 points and 7.9 rebounds a game. 

He had led the Lakers to the top record in the Western Conference at 49-14 and was hoping to compete for the franchise's first championship since 2010. 

James responded to Bird's comments by tweeting "Cheers," along with some wine emojis, adding, "right back to you."

James, who recently said he's been working out four to five times a week, acknowledged that the hiatus has not been a positive thing for him. 

"The narrative that I don't like is now guys get so much rest," James said on the Road Trippin' Podcast in late March. "Or LeBron, he's 35, he has so many minutes on his body, now he gets so much rest. It's actually the opposite for me because my body, when we stopped playing, was asking me, 'What the hell are you doing?'"

James added the sudden shift was very jolting. 

"My body was like, 'Hey man, what the hell is going on? It's March 13th, you're getting ready for the playoffs, why are you shutting down right now?'" James said. "And I was right there turning the corner. I felt like I was rounding third base, getting ready for the postseason. The rest factor is overly blown, especially when you're in the full swing of things."