Friday, April 17, 2020

WNBA20 Update

Live sports! Comments flow ...


  1. I'm pretty sure that's an updated logo for the New York Liberty since its founding. The Liberty was one of the league's charter teams along with ... let me see if I can remember these ...

    -- Houston Comets
    -- Charlotte Sting
    -- Los Angeles Sparks
    -- Phoenix Mercury

    Hmmm ...

  2. There were eight teams.

    Oh, Orlando Miracle!

  3. I was thinking the Seattle Storm came on in the second season or after, but maybe they were in the first group.

  4. Sabrina Ionescu from Oregon is the first overall pick. I know almost nothing about women's basketball in the last 11 years, but I did know that Sabrina Ionesco would be the No. 1 overall pick.

  5. Wow. I really was pretty far off on the first eight teams. The Eastern Conference was the Charlotte Sting, New York Liberty, Houston Comets and Cleveland Rockers (totally forgot about the Cleveland Rockers). The Western Conference was the Los Angeles Sparks, Phoenix Mercury, Sacramento Monarchs and Utah Starzz.

  6. Rebecca Lobo, the former University of Connecticut star, is on the ESPN broadcast tonight. She was a center/power forward on that first Liberty team, and she was pretty good in the pros--kind of an enforcer type. I nicknamed her, "The Sheriff," in my columns, which I thought was pretty clever. I knew her a little bit, and so I asked her about it. She said she never understood where I came up with it. She's only five years younger than me, but that apparently slipped her out of the window of remembering The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo.

    Oh, my word, Rebecca Lobo married Steve Rushin!

  7. OK, last season was the WNBA's 23rd. The Washington Mystics beat the Connecticut Sun for the championship, three games to two. I've always rooted for the Mystics (well, not in WNBA97 because they weren't a team yet), so I actually watched most of this series. It was really great.

    The Mystics still have the best player in the league, forward/guard Elena Delle Donne, and the finals MVP, forward Emma Meesseman. They lost a really key guard, Kristi Toliver, but they now have a veteran center, Tina Charles, who is a former league MVP. Their coach is still Mike Thibault. Sounds to me like they’re going to be really good again.

    We're at the 12th and last pick of the first round, and that would be Washington's--but it went to New York in the trade for Charles. The Liberty picked a guard from Louisville, Jazmine Jones.

    1. The Mystics joined the league in 1998, and this was their first championship.

    2. I always have really, really liked Chamique Holdsclaw a lot. She was a phenomenal college basketball player, and she was a pretty outstanding pro for several years. I'm so glad to see that she appears to have a lot of happiness going on in her life.

  8. And now New York selects another player from Louisville, a forward named Kylee Shook, with the first pick of the second round. The first two picks of this draft were both from Oregon. And then there were two straight players from South Carolina selected in the middle of the first round. And now we have two straight players from Louisville picked. There have been only 13 selections; that's weird.

  9. Here are the other teams to have won the WNBA championship, by number of titles:

    4-Houston Comets and Minnesota Lynx

    3-Detroit Shock, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm

    1-Indiana Fever and Sacramento Monarchs

  10. The Comets were the WNBA's first dynasty, winning the league's first four championships. Their big stars were Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Kim Perrot, a point guard who died of cancer between the third and fourth wins. Their coach was Van Chancellor, who, when he had coached at the University of Mississippi, had been well-regarded but overshadowed by other SEC coaches, such as Pat Summit, Andy Landers and Sue Gunter.

  11. They were a fun, loosey-goosey team. Cooper, who had excelled on the Cheryl Miller University of Southern California teams but then disappeared into the European pro leagues for a decade or so, was an absolute revelation--the league's MVP in its first two seasons. Swoopes had been a high-profile college star, and she was great in the pros, too--MVP in 2000. Chancellor knew everything was there to know about how to squeeze four or six extra points a game out of places like inbounds plays. The Comets were fantastic.

    Now I quit following the WNBA in 2002 or 2003. I started dating and then married a minister, and that meant all of the time I had spent driving around to Charlotte and Washington, etc., to cover WNBA games was now spent in church and/or being a husband. By 2007, Cooper and Chancellor were gone, and there were ownership and facility problems. The team folded after WNBA08, and, when I heard that, I figured the league would soon be gone, too.

  12. It was not. The most recent WNBA dynasty was the Minnesota Lynx, which won the 2011, '13, '15 and '17 championships. I know almost nothing about them. Their big stars were Seimone Augustus, Rebekkah Brunson, Sylvia Fowles, Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen, and their coach was Cheryl Reeve. Fowles and Reeve are still around. Their best player now is a little 5-foot-8 guard from Baylor, Odyssey Sims, and, tonight, they picked an even littler 5-5 guard from Connecticut, Crystal Dangerfield.

  13. It appears there are still conferences in the WNBA, but they do the standings by lumping all 12 teams together and then taking the top eight for the playoffs. Here were the WNBA19 regular-season standings:

    1. Washington Mystics 26-8
    2. Connecticut Sun 23-11
    3. Los Angeles Sparks 22-12
    4. Las Vegas Aces 21-13
    5. Chicago Sky 20-14
    6. Seattle Storm 18-16
    7. Minnesota Lynx 18-16
    8. Phoenix Mercury 15-19
    9. Indiana Fever 13-21
    10. Dallas Wings 10-24
    11. New York Liberty 10-24
    12. Atlanta Dream 8-26

  14. The draft is over now. WNBA20 was scheduled to tip off May 16, but, of course, it won't happen then. We hope it does some time soon and somehow safe. But, for tonight, I was thankful to at least have the live draft to enjoy, and it encouraged me to get a little back in to the league whenever we do get back to playing games.