Tamika Catchings

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WNBA rookie report

A rookie’s first year as a professional athlete mostly is an up-and-down experience. The usual adjustments normally include no longer being a regular and now fighting for meaningful minutes. Asia Taylor, who started every game for Louisville in her senior season, has, after a stellar training camp, settled in her role as a typical rookie waiting her turn. Other than a DNP-CD (did not play-coach decision) in a June 22 home game, the 6’-1” first-year forward has averaged nearly four minutes of clock in the Lynx’s last six contests. “I’m part of a team with a lot of veterans,” she told the MSR after Sunday’s Minnesota- Seattle game. Continue Reading →

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Women hoopsters play longer — and pay a price

A false argument sometimes used in comparing women and men pro athletes, especially in basketball, is using pay disparity as a starting point. Rather this week’s “View,” for your consideration, offers the following fact of at least equal if not greater importance than the pay issue: WNBA athletes work longer than their NBA counterparts. Call it you will, there’s no rest for female hoopsters. While NBA athletes typically get up to three months or more as an off-season, most if not all WNBA athletes’ passports are annually stamped as they head overseas and virtually play all year long, from season to season. “I’ve been going for nine years non-stop, back and forth,” admits New York Guard Cappie Pondexter, a nine-year veteran. Continue Reading →

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WNBA league, players reach 8-year contract agreement







The new eight-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the WNBA and the players will add 12 more players to the league, beginning this season. Expanding the rosters, even if only by one spot per team, was a key goal for the players. According to released statements last week:

“We expect all of the league’s constituencies to benefit from the teams’ ability to sign a 12th player,” said WNBA Players Association Director of Operations Pamela Wheeler. “This agreement caps a successful 2013 season both on and off the court,” added League President Laurel Richie. The new deal, which continues through 2021 and includes salary-cap increases, “provides the league with a long-term foundation for growth while also guaranteeing increases in player salaries and benefits,” Richie said. Continue Reading →

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The WNBA: where it’s been, where it’s going

How to better promote the WNBA


Although it’s America’s longest running women’s pro league, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) is still seen by too many as below major league status. The MSR talked about this and related issues with coaches, players, analysts, fans and league officials throughout the league’s 17th season; their insights are included in this multi-part series on the WNBA.  

The WNBA has over the course of its existence used season-long promotions that frankly bombed. “We Got Next” and posing star players in evening gowns are just two sad examples. Prior to last spring’s draft, the W launched a new logo as part of what League President Laurel Richie called its “rebranding initiative.” Then came its “3 To See” campaign, for which the president credited ESPN with the season-long theme. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota ‘the team to beat’ in 2013 WNBA playoffs








The cast of The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the closing scene of the series finale together sang, “It’s a long, long way to Tipperary.” To initially begin our WNBA playoffs discussion, we note that it’s simply a long, long way to seven wins, the required number needed to capture a championship trophy next month. Winning the first in a best-of-three series generally puts additional pressure on the other team that now must win the next two contests to advance. Several “insiders” recently shared their thoughts and prognostications with the MSR on the 2013 WNBA eight-team playoffs that begin Thursday. “I think it will be a battle between those two [on] who will come out of the West,” says Indiana Coach Lin Dunn on Minnesota and Los Angeles, seeded one and two respectively in the West. Asked about her club’s

post-season chances, Dunn says, “Right now we’re not a great team, but we got a chance.”

“It doesn’t matter where you are going into the playoffs as long as you get in,” adds Indiana forward Tamika Catchings on the Fever’s 4th-seed position in the East. Continue Reading →

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Top WNBA teams hope to peak in playoffs


By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


The 2013 WNBA Playoffs begin this week: Washington-Atlanta and Indiana-Chicago in the East, and Minnesota-Seattle and Los Angeles-Phoenix in the West in the four best-of-three first-round matchups.  

“When we get into the playoffs, it’s our own destiny,” notes Indiana guard Shavonte Zellous, a member of the 2012 defending champions. The Fever, the only sub-.500 club among the eight playoff teams, has been injury-riddled all season. “We’ve gotten some good wins and some tough losses as well,” explains forward Tamika Catchings. “I think we’ve gotten better from the beginning of the season to now.”


“We are going to make a good run,” predicts Zellous. Continue Reading →

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Tina Thompson, last of the originals, takes a final bow



Tina Thompson (Seattle) is the WNBA’s last original player. Fittingly, the 38-year-old Thompson, the league’s first player selected in 1997 who since has played in every season, was named as an All-Star replacement player by WNBA President Laurel Richie. As a result, Thompson, the 2000 All-Star MVP and the W’s all-time leader in points, field goals and minutes played, last weekend set a league record ninth All-Star appearance in 12 seasons. “Anytime you get asked to play in the All-Star Game, it is a great honor,” she said. “I actually didn’t know that I set the record for appearances until I got here.”

“She is a great person to come in and let everybody, let all the fans give her that last [applause],” said Minnesota’s Seimone Augustus of Thompson. Continue Reading →

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Sports highlights, plus banished words of 2012

Two members of our MSR sports experts’ panel recently released their 2012 best sports stories. Nate Parham of Swish Appeal places at the top of his list the Indiana Fever winning the 2012 WNBA championship. “I think Tamika Catchings [the finals MVP] has done so much for women’s basketball…throughout her career. I think the entire women’s basketball world was rooting for her to win a championship. People are comparing it to LeBron James [winning his first NBA title this year].”

Baylor’s undefeated season “obviously was a huge story,” Parham says. Continue Reading →

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Brushes with history worth noting as WNBA season concludes

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer


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 →

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