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Sparks Plug First Win Of WNBA Finals

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Sparks Plug First Win Wnba Finals

Beard saved Game 1 of the 2016 WNBA Finals between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx from being a close shave.

Hitting the bullseye at the Target Centre buzzer, L.A.’s Alana Beard drew a bead on Minny’s Maya Moore in the corner and drilled home a clutch three at point blank range with just seconds to spare as she slid back downtown.

As the Sparks shocked the defending champions and top seeded Lynx team 78-76 for one in the win column they took a commanding lead in the best of five Finals series. Expect this one to go to the wire though for the two teams who began this season with 11 game unbeatable records until they faced off with each other.

Minnesota prevailed in that one but Alana made sure that would never happen again as the number zero got her Nick Young, purple and gold Lakers brotherhood on and showed some downtown swag. The only thing she didn’t do was step over Olympic Gold winning great Maya Moore like Allen Iverson did to Tyronn Lue in the 2002 Sixers, Lakers NBA Finals. She was too busy picking herself up off the floor, her shot was so good for that.

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Beard wasn’t alone in covering the Lynx like Minnesotans face scarfs growing around this time of year. League MVP Nneka Ogwumike had 19 points as did Kristi Toliver. Candace Parker also contributed a cool 14 to show the Sparks have many options to plug you with. Almost as many as the WNBA has legends. As the association honoured the 20 for 20 at the games half. The 20 best players of the last and first two decades of the Womens National Basketball Association leagues inception. As Los Angeles Sparks legend Lisa Leslie watched the new generation of L.A. angels and had a silky smooth reunion with her Jerry West and Elgin Baylor ‘Fire and Ice’ like partner Parker, the Jaamal Wilkes silk to her operator smooth.

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Leslie was joined by Cynthia Cooper, Yolanda Griffith, Becky Hammon, Lauren Jackson, Deanna Nolan, Ticha Penicheiro, Katie Smith, Tina Thompson, Theresa Weatherspoon and brand new Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes from the retired legends class. Whilst Candace and Lynx opponents Maya Moore, Lindsay Whale and Seimone Augustus were joined by fellow current court contemporaries Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi and recently retired Tamika Catchings for quite an almost 50/50 list of active and retired WNBA great that should leave you expecting no less.

Fellow Rio 2016 Olympic Gold medalist for the womens national basketball Team USA Whalen had 18 for the Minnesota Lynx, along with the same from Sylvia Fowles to go along with 13 rebounds. Quite clearly motivated by the fact that she should have been honoured at half-time instead of hearing it from the Lynx coach in the home locker room. Still if Minnesota want their own rings come next season and the end of these finals they need more from Moore (who left the game with her head in her hands) and this pack needs to let the wolves out.

Otherwise it’s going to be a Hollywood ending in this wild west world showdown.

Time to go to work.

Watch this space…

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WNBA

Augustus In Los Angeles. Seimone Signs With Sparks

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augustus in los angeles seimone signs with sparks
Augustus, Los Angeles County...

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.

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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.

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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.

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WNBA

Moore To Life Than Basketball

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moore to life than basketball
Give Moore...

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.

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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.

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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.

Have some.

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.

That’s Moore.

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