Are you listening Seattle?
Beneath the cities Space Needle lies the Key Arena. The former home of the former Seattle Supersonics. Stolen away by Starbucks owners when they should have been saved like Seattles best coffee. Now reigning in the NBA as the Oklahoma City Thunder and their electric, striking duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. A tandem and team that could even go to war with Steph Curry’s big three, Klay and Dray Golden State Warriors to dub themselves potential NBA finalists and even champions…let alone Western ones.
But even if they win…look at what they’ve lost.
Now the ‘Jurassic Park’ visitors centre looking Key Arena lies within a forest of trees that you’d have to hack your way through like Shaq to get to. You can imagine a falling banner in here reading; ‘When The Supersonics Ruled The World’. This place used to fit like Gary Payton’s glove, but now OKC is new world like Galaxy Guardian Chris Pratt. There’s the bones of legend here. Skeletons in the locker room. Even a dinosaur like the T-Rex legendary Shawn Kemp has a bar just down the road in the Queen Anne district. Oskar’s Kitchen serves up beer on tap, tatter tots and a lot of nostalgia between those green and yellow jerseys found behind the bar with the spirits.
This is Macklemore’s city now…and he’s only sharing it with Ryan Lewis. Downtown if you want to find a Sonics jersey you may just have to go thrift shopping with your grandads coat.
But wait…is that rain?
Forget the Thunder. There’s a real Storm coming. Green and white basketball is still shining in the key of the Emerald City and we aren’t talking about the return of the Sonics like a Sega blue hedgehog…yet! Ring bearing, Anne’s district is fit for some queens and as the white and orange ball is thrown up for the new WNBA season the 2004 and 2010 champion Seattle Storm have their eye on the throne.
Sure they just got ignited by the Los Angeles Sparks at STAPLES, to a 30 point, 96-66 candle, lead by purple and gold party starter Candace Parker. But that’s just one rusty, season opening game on the road this team needs for it’s drive. Meanwhile the Womens National Basketball Association is working with stories on new greats like Tulsa Shock’s Skylar Diggins taking wing with this teams move to Dallas. Or the staying power of Lisa Leslie legacy making legends like Diana Taurasi and Tamika Catching. But Seattle have one of their own in green and white (make that Swedish lime and green now) too, taking wing like another 3-ball shooting Larry legend with the same name on the back of the jersey.
Point God Sue Bird is one of this games greatest. Male or female. And her basketball I.Q. has still got plenty left in reserve before she takes one final victory lap walk to the bench she’ll one day sit as a coach we’re sure. She’s more Seattle than a Payton tossed salad to Kemp’s scrambled egg. She’s part of this great cities grammer like Frasier Crane’s fictional radio show. Going ahead, Seattle also think Jewel Loyd could be the most improved player in this league out of the Emerald. Run it Jewel!
But it’s all about Stewie. No we’re not talking about ‘Family Guy’, but this franchises new member about to kill a league of Lois’. Running the lane like a Superwoman, taking flight with two ‘S’s’ on her chest. The number one pick in this years draft who really is set to be the biggest player in the WNBA this year and Seattle’s best one since the rule of legend Lauren Jackson. The fourth consecutive NCAA winning champ Breanna Stewart is going forth in Seattle after cutting down nets with UCONN. And you can expect the Sports Illustrated cover star without the swimsuit to strip more nylon. The baskets are loaded…the ball is hers. The future is in her hands. Queen Breanne District. Hand her the keys to the city…let alone the arena.
And just watch her work!
Gray Jumper Lifts Sparks Over Lynx In WNBA Finals Game 1
Last years to the wire WNBA Finals between the reigning champion Los Angeles Sparks and the then defending one the Minnesota Lynx ended with a clutch, game and series winning basket. This years rematch between the two teams by the end of the fourth quarter began the same way.
But this time it was reigning WNBA Finals MVP Candace Parker siren screaming in woman of the moment Chelsea Gray’s ear, as her L.A. teammate’s last second shot at the buzzer sparked Los Angeles’ other purple and gold team over the Minnesota Lynx. As they sealed Game 1 with a big escape out of Minny, 85-84.
14 seconds and a shade under 2 seconds was all Gray needed to put the game and the series advantage away for a finals that will determine who the real great WNBA champion truly is. Expect this one to go the distance too between these two evenly matched teams as the Sparks 28-2 advantage in the first quarter (shadowed by another Gray three) and 78-66 one in the fourth was erased to a next basket wins end of the final quarter and first finals game.
“All athletes dream of that moment” Chelsea told reporters afterwards as she capped off a career high 27 points with the greatest moment of her WNBA conception. Doing what fellow L.A. Spark Alana Beard did at STAPLES in Game 1 of last years WNBA Finals versus the Lynx. These razor edge close shaves really keep mirroring each other and if this is the case then things are looking good for the Sparks on reflection.
Superstar leader Candace Parker added a double/double of 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Sparks, whilst Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx played with her own 22 and 13. But it was Maya Moore who paced Minnesota with 27 points as the Lynx turned a 26 point deficit to an 84-83 advantage with 6.5 on the clock remaining.
Despite foul trouble against Fowles and co, Los Angeles WNBA MVP of last season Nneka Ogwumike had 11 points against the Lynx along with Odyssey Sims’ 16. Whilst Minnesota’s Simone Augustus countered with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists against the Sparks in a contest for a series that proves to be an evenly matched, balanced attack.
But there was a subplot to this storied rivals next episode as these WNBA players responded to President Donald Trump’s call for the NFL to fire players who don’t stand for the national anthem and his refusal to invite the NBA champion Golden State Warriors to the White House following Steph Curry’s decision not to attend the traditional victory visit. As the Lynx players linked arms at home for the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, the Sparks road team left the floor only to return to a chorus of boo’s before they made another silencing statement.
And this is only the beginning.
The Sky Is Not The Limit…Delle Donne To D.C.
Strange. Call it part of the Mystic arts, but former WNBA MVP and the league of great expectations greatest player Elena Dell Donne is done with her Sky high-time in the Windy City of Chicago.
Just when Chi-town thought they had enough problems with the big beef amongst the Bulls trip of superstars Jimmy Butler, Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo-not to mention the rest of the team-the town lost another superstar with their former champion sister franchise.
D.D. now finds herself in D.C. just when you thought people wouldn’t want to lay a foundation in this city unless it was with a placard or picket. Still trumping all of that ignorance in a sexist and misogynstic world, Elena looks to take Washington to new heights. Making an exclamation for the capital city for these States of America that need to remain United.
Traded to the Washigton Mystics to what on paper remains a mystery this Olympian who lead the womens national Team USA to the Gold like McConaughey in Brazil for the 2016 Rio games last Summer. But on the print of tabloids like the Tribune it was clear to read that Delle Donne was about to leave Chicago for clearer skies. Whether times where turbulent in the city of wind for their Captain Marvel was as unclear as this whole Butler and Wade vs Rondo mess, but in this Golden State age of player power it was clear Elena was about to go all Kevin Durant on the Oklahoma City Thunder. She announced it herself. And fair play to somone who allowed the Sky to prepare for whatever the weather with her free agent forecast.
And before she became truly unrestricted Chicago wanted to make sure they got some soldiers in return for their Warrior…and oh did they. The Sky have acquired All-Star Stefanie Dolson, number 7 pick in last years draft Kahleah Copper to the brass and the wind of whoever comes in at the number 2 spot in a future draft for this Summer season.
Three for the price of one is an offer you can’t even get in stores but then again Delle Donne is one of a kind. Maybe in a million…at least in a Hall of Fame. Because when it’s all said and done Elena Delle Donne will go down as one of the greatest to ever play this game (and we’re not just talking about the womens game). We’re talking top 10 for this number 11.
Chicago may have some top draft picks for future faces for their blue skies but Washington have their number one and we’re not talking about the White House. The House of Guards has someone even bigger calling Verizon home now the Mystics have pulled off and out a magic trick of the wand that could even spellbind a Wizard.
Sparks’ Magic Fires Up L.A.’s First WNBA Championship In 14 Years
11 lead changes and 1 point highlighted just how little was between the two WNBA franchises who both started the season with 11 game unbeatable runs until they met each other.
Not to mention a full five game series, tied at two games a piece.
But as this seasons MVP Nneka Ogwumike hit a clutch basket with 3.1 seconds to go that was all she wrote folks as the Los Angeles Sparks clinched their first WNBA title in 14 years over the Minnesota Lynx, behind Finals MVP Candace Parker’s 28 points and 12 rebounds.
And to think this dynamic duo was left off the 2016 Gold Medal winning Olympic team that took Rio by storm.
But in the end the Minnesota Lynx’s Team USA stars Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Sylvia Fowles (who Mamba mentality played through the Kobe like pain of a dislocated finger popped back in place), who haven’t had a break all season, couldn’t keep up with two Most Valuable Superstars who had some doubters to disprove.
Maya Moore may have had more points with 23 and 11 rebounds but Nneka’s 12 and 12 iced by her game winning bucket she put back after the Sparks spilled a couple of shots in the paint was so much more. Dethroning the defending champ Lynx who have been in five WNBA Finals in the last six seasons, winning three of them.
NBA purple and gold brotherhood, Los Angeles Lakers legend and Sparks owner Magic Johnson couldn’t have been prouder of Candace as he held her in an emotional embrace postgame (Candace herself getting choked up with a tearful tribute, dedicating the win and championship to late, legendary coach and mentor Pat Summitt) after watching her put on a show. “Thank you so much” she cried, as Earvin earnestly replied, “you did what you do”! High praise from NBA histories selfless G.O.A.T. The majority owner of MLB’s Dodgers will be looking for another big hit from L.A. sports before the young Brandon Ingram, D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson Lakers take to the plate and do their thing. But right now he’s just watched his Sparks step up and knock it out the park.
Giving the Lynx three strikes infront of Minnesota Timberwolves future Karl Anthony-Townes, Andrew Wiggins, Zach Lavine and Ricky Rubio in homestand support, the Sparks were plugged by more than their new smooth and silk duo that is all fire and ice. From Alana Beard’s game one net cutting winner to Chelsea Gray handling this 11 lead change game with 11 of her own consecutive points in the fourth to ignite the Sparks’ comeback before the game faded to black and backboard red.
As we watched all this teamwork accept what it means to be great we bore witness to not one, but two teams who could rule the WNBA for many seasons and finals to come like the mens Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Minnesota Lynx have been here for years, but not since the days of 20 for 20 leading legend Lisa Leslie have the purple L.A. team seen this much gold.
This Spark has started a fire.
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