Originally I was going to write a post entitled, ‘I Never Want To Write An Article Like This Again…But I Will’ (and I will). About how this blatantly sexist disrespect for the WNBA needs to stop in a world that still thinks it is finally waking up to a time of equal rights for all…now! When we still have that “grabber” eating breakfast in the most important house in the world and everyone failing to see how that is beyond wrong is too busy burning Nikes they could give to homeless vets to see what is right when it takes a knee for you and me.
This came after at the start of season I saw a post for the then upcoming WNBA season on their Facebook feed be desecrated by derogatory comments from men and women alike about how this league wasn’t worth watching because it was run by women, not men and the disrespectful like by the thousands that we shouldn’t even give creedance too. But screenshotting for a post…I did. So much hate and one or two word put downs, unoriginally recycled like the nature of ignorance to unjustified reinforced likes and laughable emoticons in todays trite social media world. So much so that the WNBA had to take down their original photo and repost again, all whilst keeping tab track of their timelines. Now how pathetic is that? No, not that the WNBA did that. But that they HAD to do that because of all the trolls bullying their way through a comments section those too busy with a life wouldn’t have the time to scroll through (*hands up*, guilty as self charged). But hate should be taken away wherever it is present. Publicly or privately. Those so called “keyboard warriors” who should ‘Expect Great’ when they see the soul of this sport in the NBA’s sister league and not accept hate in their hearts when they see these women leave it all on the floor. To quote Jeremy Renner in Elizabeth Olsen’s standout starring role in, ‘Wind River’ (a movie based on true events) in reference to a girl who ran 6 miles in the snow, barefoot to her death to escape her rapists, “that’s a warrior…that’s a warrior”.
Or even the other night in a vain attempt to escape all the Twitter tirades from those who think tennis warrior Serena Williams shouldn’t wear an all black catsuit whilst she serves up iconic play after iconic play, game set and try to just match this legend. One that actually helped saved her life that right now people are reducing to again blatant sexism and in addition still alive today veiled racism. You respond to all those “tut, tuts” by grand slamming them in a tutu queen. Trying to ignore all the cancel culture vulturing world of trolling and scrolling social media, I ironically fell down a youtube rabbit hole that lead me to the wonderland of the Slam Dunk contest and the 1996 one won by Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kobe Bryant in his warm ups. The panel of judges with tens featured the player who may aswell have invented the modern dunk and this competition, the good doctor, Julius Erving and the finger rolling of the Iceman cometh, George Gervin. But to one unnamed commentators jokes, Knick point and style on that same dime legend Walt Frazier was there…as was an WNBA player who in her own debut season for a rookie year was about to start her campaign as that association greatest of all-time. “Lisa Leslie’s more likely to catch a dunk than Frazier” the analyst said without meaning to cause offence to the player who actually in the end caught the first above the rim slam in WNBA history, decades before her Los Angeles Sparks teammate and current star Candace Parker plugged one. And the comment passed without incident. But that was more than twenty years ago. It’s time today to not be so backwards.
And that’s where I digress. Because I guess I’ve kind of wrote the article I never wanted to but would in the last few “introduction” paragraphs. But in a time were as Dallas Wings superstar Skylar Diggins-Smith (who should be celebrated by her male peers for how good she is, not how good she looks) points out, amazing feats in ever evolving WNBA history for players that go abroad in the offseason to play, just to make not even half their NBA brothers do don’t seem mass media newsworthy, but what LeBron James had for lunch is (for the record I’m a Laker for life and I really love LeBron now, but I couldn’t give a tossed ball whether it’s from a personal chef flown halfway across the world, or P.F. Changs across the street), I should be writing more about all of basketball. But in true transparency this writer can somewhat with ownership on himself blame that output on depression. And who lifted this man up out of all that and into this living place now? Women! Mothers, sisters, friends. Right now, now it’s all said and done I just want to celebrate this game and leave all the hate to their phones.
Because last night was worth celebrating as rising above the Phoenix Mercury, 94-84, the Seattle Storm stormed to the WNBA Finals in a best of the west semis to face legend Elena Delle-Donne and the first time Washington Mystics looking to cast a spell even the Wizards can’t. Showing that basketball is not sleepless in Seattle or the legendary Key Arena even if the city is still crying, “save our Sonics”. They still have boom over the television and radio waves even after Frasier has left the building.
Taurasi and Bird, who in these court circles can just go by her last name like the fellow green and white, let it fly legend of Larry. Two true titans of the game. Legends who will always be remembered for their classic body of work and not just for their iconic, game changing ESPN Body issues. They’ve rebirthed the game here. And playing alongside two greats they are just as current as, who hold this games future in their palms (Brittney Griner and this seasons MVP and last years rookie don’t forget, Breanna Stewart), truly take in Diana and Sue embracing postgame after another epic duel. Regrettably it may just be their last.
“Wow that was amazing”, the Phoenix Mercury’s Diana Taurasi told her best friend and Seattle Storm rival Sue Bird, “incredible”. And it really was.
With a broken nose and the Rip Hamilton face-mask going all Kobe and LeBron phantom menace in this hoops opera, Bird led the Storm to a flying victory. Taking over with 14 fourth quarter points that showed the clutch Taurasi who was the closer this night and series. As Bird’s 22 came alive in a Game Five K.O. Taurasi has won 13 of these rounds straight. But last night sadly she was unlucky for some in the Arizona area. Most Valuable Player Stewie had 28 too, but the real MVP last night was called Sue as her step backs truly set their Phoenix rising rival back for good. All the way back to elimination ashes.
That’s a warrior! That’s a warrior.
“I don’t know if I had a fourth quarter like this in as big of a game in my life, to be honest.” Sue told press postgame before the champagne.
Now the toast of the town the Storm fly to the capital to make their exclamation point Mr. President.
And I just want to know what Bird’s going to eat on the plane.
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.