PHOENIX — The WNBA All-Star Game annually is snubbed by sports fans and sports media alike. Last Saturday’s contest here unfortunately remains only a summertime favorite for those of us who do care. It was his first-ever All-Star Game, Earl Malloy told the MSR, admitting that his wife finally convinced him to join her in watching women’s pro hoops. “I’ve been a season ticket holder since day one,” added Carolyn Malloy, who also went to the 2000 game, the last time it was played in Phoenix. “The women players play a lot better than the men.”
“I love it already,” proclaimed Roosevelt Scott, a St. Continue Reading →
PHOENIX — Again the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx were well represented at the 2014 WNBA All-Star Game, this time by league-leading scorer Maya Moore, veteran guard Lindsay Whalen, and injured star Seimone Augustus. The Lynx coaching staff headed by Cheryl Reeve coached the West stars. The Phoenix Mercury, the hottest WNBA team with a 12-game win streak and 18-3 record, like the Lynx had three All-Stars: Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner, and Candace Dupree. The game was well played from start to finish and delivered plenty of excitement for the national television audience over ESPN. The game featured 11 lead changes, the East and West both had double-digit
leads, and the game was tied 10 times. Continue Reading →
They haven’t as yet received attention similar to “The Big 3” WNBA rookies — Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne — but here are two other “under the radar” rookies who are also worth noting.
A first-round selection usually is a roster lock, but that’s not necessarily the case for players picked in later rounds. Once a projected first-rounder, Minnesota guard Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers was the 14th overall pick in the 2013 Draft. “I had to come in here and try out,” recalls the second-rounder. “When I made the team, I was excited. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
While other reporters asked basketball-related questions during her first Twin Cities visit since 2011, the MSR instead asked 6’-8” Phoenix Mercury rookie center Brittney Griner about her musical tastes. During an earlier media conference call, Griner disclosed that she usually listens to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” during her pre-game routine. “That’s my favorite song, so that’s what I listen to a lot before games,” she disclosed. “Normally, I start off [with] some Jimi Hendrix, then maybe Trace Adkins, and then I’ll switch over to rap. It just depends on what I’m in the mood for.”
Hendrix’s hit obviously was around nearly three decades before her birth in 1990, so the MSR asked Griner who hipped her to the legendary guitarist. Continue Reading →
The 2013 WNBA season opened last weekend in Dickensian fashion — great expectations. “I think this is the most anticipated season for me,” proclaims ESPN analyst and former WNBA coach/general manager Carolyn Peck. SB Nation’s Nate Parham analyzed each W club, in 25 words or less, by conference, beginning with the East:
[New coach Mike Thibault] “will make a huge difference” in Washington, but unresolved ball-handling issues may prove too much. Atlanta still is Angel McCoughtry’s team, but point guard might be a problem. This year’s second overall pick, Elena Delle Donne, will help Chicago, but can the Sky overcome the early absence of star guard Epiphanny Prince, who contractually must play in Russia in June? Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
The WNBA last week did a Buddy Miles “Them Changes” and announced several new moves for the upcoming season.
W draft in prime time
After years of having their annual draft shown during daytime soap opera hours, the 2013 WNBA Draft will be shown for the first time next spring in prime time. ESPN2 will show the first round at 7 pm Central time on Monday, April 15. The second and third rounds then will be shown on ESPNU. Both league and network officials cite the historic change due to an anticipated star-studded first round that is expected to include Baylor center Brittney Griner and Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
This 2012 WNBA season is now history. Throughout the league’s 16th season the MSR brushed with several historical “firsts” — persons who did something that hadn’t been done before and, in some cases, hasn’t been duplicated.
Tamara Moore — the first Minneapolitan
“I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had with the Lynx,” says the team’s first and only Minneapolis-born player. A former 2002 first-round pick by Miami, Moore was traded to Minnesota in June 2002 for Betty Lennox and a future first-round pick, which at the time was considered a controversial trade. “To be the first…and being part of the program and seeing where it is right now is a great experience,” Moore says. Continue Reading →
By Charles Hallman
Although her taller teammate 6-8 junior center Brittney Griner typically draws most of the attention, Baylor sophomore guard Odyssey Sims stands tall in her own right. Brittney Griner Odyssey Sims
Baylor came to town and left Sunday as the nation’s top-ranked women’s basketball team, and the 5-8 Sims is a major reason for their success thus far this season. She had 15 points, nine assists, and four steals in an 89-60 win over Minnesota.
“You need a point guard like that who can make that team run,” said Minnesota Coach Pam Borton afterwards. Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey handed her the ball in her 10th collegiate game last season, and Sims has been the team’s starting point guard ever since. Continue Reading →