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The WNBA: Yes, It Still Exists


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#151

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Posted Sep 27, 2011 @ 10:34 AM

The WNBA's Cappie Pondexter gets the best of the NBA's Sebastian Telfair. They're guarding each other in a game, and she hits more shots than he does. It got "real" when she decided she was tired of eating him up from the left side of the wing, sauntered the ball across to the right wing, put her back to the basket, and then drove by him. The behind the back, back to the basket dribble was nasty enough, but then she got him with the left handed layup.

Also note that at the beginning of the video before the whole sequence goes down, one of the guys disrespects Cappie by saying "all by yourself", which is what you say when someone is going downcourt for an uncontested layup, so they know not to freak out and worry about a defender coming up from behind.

Cappie's got handles. To top it off, her shoes are fire.
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#152

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Posted Sep 28, 2011 @ 12:34 AM

Don't read the comments. (shudder)

Cappie is a force. With all of my favorites out of the finals, I'm rooting for Minny. Anything to wipe that smirk off of McCoughtry's face. Go, Lynx!
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#153

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Posted Oct 5, 2011 @ 10:15 PM

Seimone Augustus was killin 'em tonight. I only caught the halftime show, but wow, she just started patenting that between the legs rocker dribble and kept blowing by defenders on her way to the hole. Slight carry, but it was so filthy they seemed to just let it go.

I have to admit seeing the records just looks weird basketball wise. I wonder what the ratings were for Sunday's game, and what they will be for tonight's game.
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#154

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Posted May 5, 2012 @ 9:21 PM

New spot for the new season which starts May 18th. I like it. I like it more than the ones from previous years where they tried to have someone singing, or had some silly gimmick as bad as painting the ball pink or something. Taurasi's move is great. I'll admit that when Baylor announced sanctions, I wished they'd have done it sooner so that Griner might decide to jump to the association.
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#155

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Posted May 20, 2012 @ 11:41 AM

Welcome back, WNBA! I think this will be a down year but next year with Griner likely the top draft pick, there should be buzz enough that it can get talked about. This year the LeBron/Kobe/Lakers-Thunder-Heat talk is too much, along with Boston being in the last year of their current composition.
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#156

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Posted May 31, 2012 @ 8:28 PM

My Storm are off to a rocky start. Sigh.
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#157

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Posted Jun 8, 2012 @ 8:37 AM

My Storm are off to a rocky start. Sigh.


I'll add my sigh, also, SophiaD.

Hard to believe that this is the same franchise that won the WNBA championship in 2010, going 28-6 through the regular season and a perfect 7-0 in the playoffs. I knew it would be rough losing Swin Cash (via trade) and Lauren Jackson through the first half of the season (because of the Summer Olympics), but a 1-5 start is just riduculous.

The season got off to a horrific start with the home opener vs. the Los Angeles Sparks. Storm go out to an 11-0 lead, in the second quarter up by as many as 16 points, and then blow it in the fourth quarter with multiple turnovers. That finish was a disgrace.

Although, to be fair, the schedule maker hasn't done us any favors. We've already had to play Minnesota (defending champs) twice, both on the road, and Los Angeles three times. I would have preferred to play the Sparks during the second half of the season, when Candace Parker is out with injury (which she almost always is every season). Why couldn't we be playing Phoenix Mercury multiple times while Diana Taurasi is out.

Hoping things get better soon.
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#158

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Posted Sep 26, 2012 @ 5:56 PM

Phoenix won the Griner draft lottery, an awkward piece of television with Stu Scott overseeing the proceedings. It was less like a draft lottery and more like a still cam set up in the nice conference room at a community library. At the end, someone tried to add intrigue, suggesting Griner doesn't necessarily fit in Phoenix's system. The Phoenix rep (coach, I think) said he knew people in phoenix were screaming but he was holding in his emotion because "we still have to win games". Yeah, that'll sell tickets, dude! I know the franchise is asking why did we send you to be on television so you could be all dead.

WNBA playoffs start tomorrow! Anybody watching? Anybody care? No? I think this has been a down year in the league. I don't see the commercials like I did before, and the excitement seems to be minimal. Next year with Griner, maybe it'll be a different story.
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#159

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Posted Sep 27, 2012 @ 10:44 AM

I will be very surprised if Phoenix doesn't use the #1 selection on Elena Delle Donne.

A few years back, when Lauren Jackson was a free agent, they tried to convince LJ to leave the Seattle Storm and sign with the Phoenix Mercury. Now there's an opportunity for the Mercury to select a younger version of LJ.

Delle Donne totally fits the Mercury system. Griner does not. I say the Chicago Sky get Britney with the #2 pick, since Sylvia Fowles is always injured.
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#160

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Posted Sep 27, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

Wow, I thought that was just posturing for the ESPN cameras. There is a chance Phoenix really wouldn't take Griner?
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#161

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Posted Sep 27, 2012 @ 2:34 PM

Doom, let me elaborate a bit on my original post. I guess a lot depends on the upcoming NCAA season, and how both Elena and Britney fare, and of course, assuming neither is injured when it comes to draft time next April.

I should modify my original response to say that Britney could probably work in the Phoenix Mercury uptempo run-and-gun style, but that Elena would fit in much easier. She's listed as a guard/forward/center, just as Candace Parker is. I've seen her pull down the defensive rebound, bring the ball up the court, set up the play to a teammate, and/or get it back, and pull up for a three-point shot. I can easily see her fitting in with Diana Taurasi, Penny Taylor, etc. so much easier that Griner.

I see a lot of similarities between Delle Donne and Lauren Jackson, so she would be my choice if I were Phoenix.

But it's all up to Corey Gaines, and who ultimately he decides to go with. I guess you can't go wrong either way.
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#162

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Posted Oct 2, 2012 @ 4:50 PM

Two series-deciding playoff games tonight! Atlanta/Indiana at 7:00 ET (NBATV), and after winning in double overtime a few days ago, Seattle plays Minnesota at 9:00 ET. (ESPN2)
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#163

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Posted Oct 4, 2012 @ 12:52 PM

I will be very surprised if Phoenix doesn't use the #1 selection on Elena Delle Donne...Delle Donne totally fits the Mercury system. Griner does not. I say the Chicago Sky get Britney with the #2 pick

Oh man, I hope that happens. That would be like Portland passing up Michael Jordan and letting Chicago get him because MJ didn't fit since they already had Clyde Drexler. The fans and the media will go apeshit if that happens.
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#164

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Posted Oct 9, 2012 @ 10:35 AM

That would be like Portland passing up Michael Jordan and letting Chicago get him because MJ didn't fit since they already had Clyde Drexler.


Was it Sam Bowie that Portland drafted instead of Jordan? I'll admit that I don't follow the NBA as close as the WNBA, but if my memory is correct...I agree that is one of the biggest bonehead moves ever in the NBA draft. Jordan is arguably the greatest NBA player ever, or certainly in the conversation. Drexler was good, bordering on great, but certainly not in MJ's class.

The Trailblazers seem to have a lot of bad draft choices, or those that didn't work out.

However, I have two problems with your analogy. One, assuming the Phoenix Mercury don't draft Griner, it's not like they are passing up on the WNBA's equivalent of Michael Jordan. That's because they already have the WNBA's equivalent of Jordan (Diana Taurasi)...they also have the WNBA's equivalent of Pippen, in the form of Penny Taylor.

Even if one goes under the premise that Britney Griner is the better player than Elena Delle Donne (I don't, by the way, I prefer Elena's overall game), there isn't that much difference between the two in terms of quality. Phoenix won't go wrong if they pick either. And it's not like it's a choice between somebody like Michael Jordan vs. Sam Bowie. It's more like (to borrow a comparison from another sport) having to choose between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffith III.

That's my two cents.
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#165

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Posted Oct 9, 2012 @ 12:39 PM

Your knowledge of the players far exceeds mine since I only barely pay attention to them via SportsCenter highlights and that usually doesn't happen until they're already in the WNBA. My thing is Griner is a dominaent big (wo)man and although there are already some good power forwards - centers in the WNBA like the incredibly hot Lauren Jackson IMO there's no one who will be a force like Griner. I see her as the WNBA's version of Shaq, a once in a lifetime player who you simply get. That's not to say Elena Della Donne won't be a quality player in the league it's just I don't see how passing up Griner can work out.

And when MJ came out he was very good but not the great player he was as a pro and a number of people believed Bowie was better at that time.

Time will tell how it all works out, I'm guessing if Phoenix does pass on Griner they better get a boatload for her like the Rams did by giving up the #2 pick so Washington could take RGIII or they're going to killed in the media.
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#166

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Posted Oct 9, 2012 @ 3:17 PM

I think it depends on how Griner performs this season. I know Baylor has some sanction issues, but I don't know how that will affect how they are covered and what they can achieve. If they are not eligible for the postseason, that really affects play. I can't remember what Della Donne plays like.

I also suppose it remains to be seen how Griner performs when she isn't just taller than the other players. She certainly seems to have the ability to adapt, and her dunking abilities are hitting levels never before seen in women's basketball.

I only barely pay attention to them via SportsCenter highlights and that usually doesn't happen until they're already in the WNBA.


How I hate ESPN for this, and sports media in general. Women's basketball gets so little respect outside of UCONN it is sad. The Sportscenter coverage of the WNBA is minimal (I'd be shocked if there has been more than 10 hours of sportscenter coverage this entire year), and if you go to sports websites, the WNBA option is buried with lacrosse and cricket or something, and there are often games that are final that have little to no information about them.

I hate it. I honestly don't know how the league is supposed to continue to exist when the Worldwide Leader treats it so poorly with regard to sportscenter. One of the series-deciding playoff games last week was stuck on NBATV. And it isn't uncommon to see high school boys playing sports on ESPN more than you can see grown women. I feel like nobody cares though. ESPN is so deep into the NBA and NFL that you can watch analysis so thorough that it is down to replaying almost every play (over time) from NFL games, and reporting on everything NBA stars are doing. I know we love our young men playing sports, but it is past time to get some balance going on ESPN. It is actually ranging into overkill on the mens side.
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#167

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Posted Oct 10, 2012 @ 2:41 AM

I should have said I mostly get my info on the WNBA through Sportscenter highlights I have seen some of their games as well as college games.

I honestly don't know how the league is supposed to continue to exist when the Worldwide Leader treats it so poorly with regard to sportscenter

The NBA subsidizes it, so as long as Stern and whomever follows him as commish thinks it's in their best interest to continue to subsidize the WNBA it'll be fine.
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#168

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Posted Oct 16, 2012 @ 3:19 PM

I didn't know Griner broke her wrist longboarding a few months ago. That certainly affects the draft decision. I saw highlights of the WNBA finals the other day. About half way through sportscenter, but at least they showed the postgame interviews and then threw up some stats afterward. I have no idea what the series is at. I wish they treated the league with more respect on ESPN.
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#169

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Posted Oct 22, 2012 @ 11:23 AM

Congratulations to Indiana! The day after, Sportscenter showed highlights from the championship game and moment about 37 minutes into the show. They featured Tamika Catchings speaking about her 12-year journey, and didn't interview anyone from Minnesota or break down the game, or the series. The game recap was perfunctory as well, and they built no narrative.
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#170

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Posted Oct 24, 2012 @ 9:47 PM

Indiana played brilliantly. I don't think anyone expected them to win after Katie Douglas, and then, Jeanette Pohlen went down. I am very happy for all of them, especially for Catchings.

Brilliant though Lauren Jackson* is (and I'm a Storm season ticket holder!), I think Griner has the potential to be even more of a game-changer, IF she lives up to her potential, adjusts to a more physical game and IF she stays healthy. Erlana Larkins just showed everyone that you don't have to be enormously tall to be a dominant post, you just have to be strong - and I spent the season frustrated, watching shorter, less talented posts push Ann Wauters around. Camille Little is another example of an undersized post who gets the job done beautifully.

(*there will never be another Lauren, though, no matter what Griner does. Watching her and Sue Bird play together all of these years has been amazing).
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#171

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Posted Oct 26, 2012 @ 11:42 AM

When is the actual draft? I was able to watch it last year purely by luck, not only was it during the day I don't think ESPN even advertised it. Talk about a slap in the face.
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#172

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Posted Mar 4, 2013 @ 10:53 PM

The Phoenix Mercury are offering free tickets (good seats too) to men, to try to convince guys who are dismissive of women's basketball to attend a game and understand how good these players are. #CureTheCooties #ManUp

Maybe some of the attendees will be local ESPN staff members who can lobby the people in Bristol. Because it starts there, to me.
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#173

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Posted Mar 5, 2013 @ 11:56 AM

I wish I could take them up on their offer. And I love #Cure the Cooties.

IMO the best way to convince people women can ball is to have an all WNBA team versus an all NBA team during the all star weekend.
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#174

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Posted Mar 5, 2013 @ 12:54 PM

In theory, I agree, but in practice I don't. NBA players embarrass other NBA players on a regular basis. But if that happened in a game like that, instead of attributing it to being greatness by one party, people would attribute it to gender. Regardless, I wish I could take them up on their offer too. Of course I am clearly not the intended audience. I know full well they can play their asses off.
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#175

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Posted Mar 5, 2013 @ 2:20 PM

NBA players embarrass other NBA players on a regular basis. But if that happened in a game like that, instead of attributing it to being greatness by one party, people would attribute it to gender.

I disagree, I'm reminded of the match between Billie Jean King and Johnny Riggs. That was a little before my time but as I understand it that match was HUGE in helping to change people's perceptions of women's athletic ability. Even if the WNBA team doesn't win I think if they made a game of it, people would still recognize their athletic skills. And the bottom line is something has to be done because what they're doing now hasn't been working.

Maybe once Sylar Diggins gets into the WNBA that will help some since people who wouldn't normally watch would watch because of her and her connection to Lil' Wayne.

Edited by bulldawgtownie, Mar 5, 2013 @ 2:48 PM.

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#176

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Posted Mar 5, 2013 @ 2:38 PM

I'm scared to know what Skylar's connection to Lil Wayne is, but mostly because he's been a nuisance at NBA games the past few years for some odd reason. I'd love to see such a game, but I just don't think it would end well or go the way we wanted. There have been NBA teams up by like 40 points on other NBA teams. People mostly just say those other teams suck or had a bad day. I think it's different than the tennis match (which is also before my time) because you go body on body in hoops.

Sportscenter had a clip today of Dwyane Wade talking about being guarded by Luke Ridenour in last night's game. Wade said he respects everybody in the league, but when he saw he had Luke on him, he knew he had to (take advantage). They said wade was something like 6'4 and however many pounds, and Luke is 6'2, and 20 or 30 pounds lighter. And I watched that game and Luke was no match once Wade got the ball and got over his case of the oopsies whereby he was dropping the ball all over the place. Wade had something like 32 points, and had 7 assists alone in the first half (= he could see around his defender easily). I don't think a WNBA/NBA game would end well.
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#177

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Posted Mar 5, 2013 @ 2:47 PM

I'm scared to know what Skylar's connection to Lil Wayne is

Bwah! It's nothing bad, mostly he boosted her rep by giving her a shout-out on twitter because he has/had a crush on her.
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#178

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Posted Apr 3, 2013 @ 7:28 PM

ESPN has a modified deal to televise the WNBA. A good article in Fortune about changes to the broadcasts, a new WNBA logo, the new Primetime broadcast of the draft with a game following (Mystics vs the Shock), and more in Fortune about trying to market the WNBA and women's sports. A lot to read, but so much good information in there. I thought this was sad, but it echoes the complaints I've voiced in posts here: "The percent of mainstream media time devoted to women's sports has actually declined between 1989 and 2009, according to a 2010 paper that Cooky co-authored called "Gender in Televised Sports."
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#179

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Posted Apr 4, 2013 @ 1:35 PM

I'm glad for the changes, the way ESPN handled the WNBA in the past was a joke. I only managed to watch last year's WNBA draft out of sheer luck.
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#180

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Posted Apr 11, 2013 @ 1:39 PM

Just a reminder, the draft is this Monday, April 15th at 8pm est.
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