“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 (put it this way if Las Vegas get their own NBA franchise like UNLV, it will be because of the Aces and not the 2007 All Star Game) 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 the Sixth Woman Of The Year is 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.
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.
Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women
Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.
The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.
It tells us the CBA means…
When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.
Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.
Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?
This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.
It’s about time.
Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.
Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.
And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.
But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
Again and again until we don’t have to.
The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?
Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.
The game changed for real today.