It was evidently clear to me back in 2014 that Kia Nurse was way ahead of schedule. We featured Nurse in our “Got Next” section of BasketballBuzz Magazine — not only highlighting her journey, superb skills but also her respect for the game and opponents via her mantra of “respect all, fear none.”
A lot has changed since that feature, but what hasn’t changed is her attitude and most of all her incredible all-around game.
Now in her second season with the WNBA’s New York Liberty, Nurse is breaking records and ankles – surpassing all exceptions as she is set to become Canada’s latest and greatest Canadian WNBA all-Star.
Nurse is currently averaging 16 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. More importantly, she takes her game up a notch when the Liberty win – averaging 20 points , 4.0 assists , 2.3 steals for New York who sit 7W-8L.
Breaking Canadian WNBA Scoring Records
2019 WNBA-All-Star Game
NCAA March Madness Co-Host
Nurse has quickly become the face of women’s basketball in Canada and was featured across Canada during the 2019 NCAA March Madness coverage, providing in-depth analysis and commentary on her path to NCAA success and WNBA stardom.
Increase WNBA coverage across Canada
Up to now, it was nearly impossible to find a WNBA game across Canadian sports stations. So bad, has the coverage been, that it actually reminded me of the early Raptors days, where finding a basketball was like pulling teeth. With the increase of the popularity of basketball in Canada also comes an increase and demand for more content and the big media players are finally stepping-up and delivering a solid amount of WNBA coverage to satisfy more than the average basketball fans pallete.
2020 Toronto’s WNBA bid
Toronto has and will always be a world class city, blessed with every major sports league calling the six home, expect for a NFL team. The long awaited question, Why doesn’t Toronto have a WNBA franchise? appears to have been answered.
Now we can only wait for the day Nurse is playing for Toronto’s WNBA franchise or maybe running basketball operations.
Augustus In Los Angeles. Seimone Signs With Sparks
The balance of power in the WNBA has shifted like this league of it’s own has shifted the gender gap in this sport.
Google, “Seimone Augustus, Los Angeles Sparks” and you’ll find a picture of the former Minnesota Lynx running the break and howling like a Timberwolf, as Sparks superstar Nneka Ogwumike is left lying on the court like it was a canvas and she Sonny Liston.
But that won’t happen anymore.
Don’t worry the Roman emperor Augustus isn’t joining former Minnesota dynamic duo teammate Maya Moore in not playing this August…although this will be her final season (and as an aside we nothing but salute you for your stand Moore). But the Lynx now lose the legacy of this legend too in the same fortnight the Twin Cities celebrated the dynamic duo coupling of Karl-Anthony Towns and best friend D’Angelo Russell for their basketball brotherhood. But like losing Showbiz and K.G. this WNBA big ticket will be back, all the way to the gate receipts.
Instead, it’s because Seimone is now a Spark. Soon you’ll have no trouble finding her in the purple and gold as she follows the fast break of the twinning and winning Ogwumike sisters and superstar Candace Parker leading the charge for the best big four in L.A. all day since Shaq, Kobe, ‘The Mailman’, Karl Malone and ‘The Glove’, Gary Payton brother a new trend in billionaire boy club basketball. Cue Candace’s Dunk Contest judge reaction face last weekend at All-Star, Chicago. This one is all tens for a 50 that can’t not win.
This is straight unfair too “like” when La La Land script sent tried to combine Kobe and CP3. But with respect to the one and only commissioner (rest peacefully) nothing is nixing this (and I’ll always love that move because Pau stayed where the second best European player until Luka finishes this season belonged like Gasol does up in the same STAPLES rafters). WoW!
Champion Elena Delle Donne and Co may have resigned with the mystifying Washington Wizards, but D.C. aren’t going to have as easy a time re-upping next year…if they even make it that far. Especially in the same week of a freeing, free agency of players with their own one, almost as crazy as last years NBA one.
One that has already seen Skylar Diggins-Smith rise to Phoenix to form Mercury with the one and only, G.O.A.T. Diana Taurasi. As the hardest player in the game and the one who played whilst pregnant last year (before a game changing CBA agreement finally gave the great expectations of players like Diggins-Smith her due after watching her work like that) form like the heat of voltron.
All for the best legend and superstar one-two punch since the Sparks plugged both pioneer Lisa Leslie AND the prolific Parker.
AND we haven’t even mentioned that similar Seattle score of the Storm’s Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart still wanting that reign back like the city that wants the Sonics’ (respect to Shawn Kemp and his old Oskar’s Kitchen bar and grill downtown tuning into this league with his 40 piece handing behind the bar like a retired rafter). The West is going to be even wilder than when Will Smith did that one bad movie (yeah I said it Bad Boys…I loved ‘Gemini Man’).
From rivals to sisters the 35 year old, four time champ brings experience and pedigree to this powerhouse franchise in her Tamika Catchings chapter of what will surely be the swansong of another Hall of Fame career. Inking the last, lasting part of her legacy like the tattoos of her diving for loose balls, put the Spalding down arms as colourful as the magnificent and moving murals that honour the Mamba and Mambacita in her new City of Angels.
Now how’s this for a Hollywood ending in the Kings town? And with love to LeBron we’re talking about King Kobe. But now the sisterhood of the Sparks now has more than three queen’s as these crowns go for the throne in this game.
The 2020 vision of the Sparks’ is set to be electrifying before these best of the best go for gold in Tokyo, Japan for the summertime Olympic Games. And even though legend Alana Beard ready for the rafters has retired her gold standard purple reign, the Sparks also have sharpshooting Chelsea Gray and another big name addition in Kristi Toliver to add to their who’s who roster of the elite.
Make that a Famous Five and 6 God, Sixth Woman.
Or how about a Sinister Six to marvel?
Soon the best Basketball team in L.A. won’t be the Lakers OR Clippers.
Clutch Lakerland and Coach Fish has really gone all, “Go Fish”.
In these Star Wars, they are the Sparks that will light the fire that will burn the house down.
Moore To Life Than Basketball
Kobe Bryant yesterday said that WNBA greats like Elena Delle Donne, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and more could break ankles and bang with the big boys in the NBA today…and those ignorant to this inspired notion making jokes on social media to no real likes need to watch them work this season.
But one player who won’t even be playing in the WNBA next season this Summer is Maya Moore.
The Minnesota Lynx franchise face will sit out her second straight season as she campaigns for the release of an incarcerated inmate she believes innocent. Taking herself out of Team USA consideration for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan also, Moore wants to make sure Missouri man Jonathan Irons behind bars gets his fair day in retrial.
Leaving the Basketball court for the legal one, the WNBA’s loss is much more important to this man’s gain as Maya works relentlessly for Irons’ freedom. The 39 year old is serving a 50 year prison sentence after being convicted of burglary and assault with a weapon. Moore first met Irons in 2017 at the Jefferson City Correctional Center where he is serving his sentence.
Irons has already served 20 years. He was 16 when he was tried and convicted, albeit without witness, fingerprint, footprints or DNA evidence. Although the homeowner involved in the robbery testified that he assaulted him. Still, Irons was tried as an adult, by an all-white jury and convicted of the crime.
From poverty to the purgatory of prison, Jonathan maintains his innocence and Maya is fighting for it for the second straight year. Although she insists she is not retired from the game. But right now this cause is just too important for her to ignore. Playing ball whilst she believes the justice system won’t. Advocating for social justice, change, reform and ministry Maya is showing even more to her skillet than being adept at beating the buzzer. She wants to beat injustice. And it’s a race against time.
The former Rookie of The Year and MVP has taken the Lynx to the WNBA Finals six times, but what she could lead now has much more life changing importance. With full support from club and country the five time All Star is shining a light on what we don’t see unlike highlight after highlight.
Those showing scorn and making another tired WNBA joke realize this is bigger than the game which in turn is much more than your inept, belittling comments. And to those doubting Irons innocence. Everyone deserves a fair trial, even another one when it’s not black and white beyond a reasonable doubt. You only have to watch the latest Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx film ‘Just Mercy’ to see that.
Maya Moore once emulated Michael Jordan’s legendary, arm spreading wings poster for an iconic Nike billboard for all the young hoopers looking up to her like a LeBron witness. But now she’s really extending an even bigger hand.