She caught the WNBA’s first ever dunk above the rim. She joined America’s yellow family on the couch for an appearance on ‘The Simpsons’ when Lisa met Lisa. As she did the greying legends like Shaquille O’Neal and Reggie Miller for Kyrie Irving’s ‘Uncle Drew’ movie. The ‘Coach Of The Year’ even won her first championship with the Triplets in Ice Cube’s Big3 league behind former NBA great Joe Johnson’s big three at the buzzer this weekend gone.
And now the Los Angeles Sparks legend and WNBA great who already has her 9 jersey up in the rafters with the banners she helped raise will join Shaq, Magic, Chick, Oscar and Wayne Gretzky as the first female athlete to have a statue outside Los Angeles STAPLES Centre arena.
That’s before Kobe people.
Don’t let the lipstick fool you.
Bronze awaits the iron woman of the WNBA in a year of power for women across all platforms. It’s been a great year for the women’s game, across all sports. In soccer the USA women’s team won the world cup, whilst Golden Boot top scorer from the spot Meg Rapinoe and Seattle Storm legend Sue Bird became the new power couple like her and Breanna Stewart on court for this new power generation.
Even Leslie’s Sparks are having a great season this Summer out in Los Angeles behind Laker legend Derek Fisher as Head Coach, whose job may one day be in jeopardy when it comes to the Triplets Big3 of Leslie. The Sparks are plugged in as Lisa’s former running mate Candace Parker is vying for the best purple and gold sister team of all time, if the twin ambition of the Ogwumike sisters aren’t doing that themselves for another big three.
But right now it’s time to give it up for a legend.
This women’s game has been official for over twenty years now and Lisa Leslie was there from the 1997 inauguration to her last season in 2009…and with Mamba Mentality, or Leslie legacy, she never took off the purple and gold. And now outside her old STAPLE she’ll never not wear bronze like sitting out in the California sun of Venice Beach.
Two championships. Three league MVPs. Four Olympic Gold medals. And now one monument to the wonder woman who left the league Kareem leading it all time in points and rebounds, with across the board averages of 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.
And if you thought those numbers were good, how about great? How about Laker legend Wilt stilting numbers? Because back in high school with Inglewood Morningside High she once went for 101 points in a single game.
Now what do you have to say about the women’s game? She isn’t just one of the greatest players in the women’s game. She’s one of the greatest regardless of gender in any sport, all time.
Now does she deserve a statue?
Sparks Storm Seattle, Vegas Aces Chicago In WNBA Playoffs
“I understand what the league is trying to do. But it’s just hard because if you’re a professional, you play your entire season to be out … in a game? I thought in the pros you really wanted to find out who the best was, and by doing that you do it in a series.”
Candace Parker was just taking to WNBA aficionado and one of the best sportswriters around Shea Serrano for 57 minutes for The Ringer this weekend about the drawbacks of the first round, one game elimination format in the WNBA Playoffs.
Those odds were in our CP3’s favour however this Sunday as the Los Angeles Sparks beat the Seattle Storm 92-69 in the 2019 WNBA Playoffs after a birthday candles like blowout first half.
Seattle were without their key players and the most dynamic duo in the league with current greatest Breanna Stewart and G.O.A.T. legend Sue Bird. But they still had Defensive Player Of The Year Natasha Hughes who lead the Storm’s front with 20 points.
But Coach Derek Fisher had too much Spark for the Storm with the Lakers sister team who did it for the L.A. and have proven for years now to be the perennial Los Angeles team when it comes to success as the 2016 champs sucker punch, knocked out the reigning ones on what looks like their own way to another one like Khaled.
They have their own dynamic duo in Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike. Or another one in Ogwumike and her sister Chiney twinning. Call it a big-three. Or even a Fantastic Four when sharp shooter Chelsea Gray is gunning for the purple and gold. Who needs the clutch of an NBA Playoff great like D-Fish coming off the bench when he’s leading a star unit that was firing on all cylinders in a blaze of gold glory last night.
Gray had a game high 21 to go along with 8 assists as she shared the table with Parker’s 11, 10 and 6 and 17 from Nneka. 10 days after beating the Storm by 34, they beat them again by 24 to seal their place in the Western Conference semifinals.
Meanwhile it was a much closer call in the dessert. As Liz Cambadge fresh off iconic SLAM and ESPN Body Issue magazine covers grabbed the headlines as she showed up to Sin City walking the tunnel catwalk in all black like orange wasn’t nothing for this Chicago Sky funeral march. The ace Aces also wore a matching black face mask like she was walking the streets of Tokyo, Japan. Before lighting up Chicago’s sky like Shibuya neon with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 6 blocks.
But the front of the page went to her teammate as after Kelsey Plum’s clutch 3rd quarter shot beat the buzzer and the one leg challenge in front of the Eurostep of Houston’s James Harden sitting courtside, LV took off like a rocket to win the game in the waning seconds. Dearica Hamby intercepted and stole Chicago’s Courtney Vandersloot’s pass with nine seconds to go and then just past the half court line with 7.5 seconds to go she threw up a Hail Mary and the Basketball God’s answered with a swish like there was no need for a LeBron James meme with his arms out and face in perplexed pain as the eternity left on the Basketball game clock didn’t matter.
Vegas bet it all on their new WNBA franchise like the Aces did Hamby as her hands didn’t leave the top of her head in disbelief from the moment the buzzer rang to her postgame interview courtside. It could have gone a different way for with Frank assurace like Sinatra at the Sands it ended her way. If you didn’t know the name Dearica it’s in bright lights in this Nevada town now.
And if that’s what the quarters are like imagine what the semis will show against the number one Washington Mystics and WNBA great Elena Delle Donne. Expect something legendary, because after beating Chicago for this Las Vegas team that is all aces, the skies the limit.
Canadian Kia Nurse breaking WNBA ankles & records
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.
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