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August 14, 2008 at 12:47 PM

More on Swin Cash

Got an early phone call today, clearly Swin Cash didn’t read the part in the sports media handbook that read we don’t get up early. Anyway, she wanted to reveal a little more about her medical condition.
Turns out the Storm forward had a cortisone injection in her lower back and was told by doctors that the only way it would truly benefit her is with rest. Storm coach Brian Agler agreed to this, according to Cash and her agent, but wanted her to participate in some of the team’s “training camp” before starting the post-Olympic portion of the season. He laid all of this out for her and Cash elected to take the fine/benching and go to New York to be part of NBC’s broadcasting crew for the Olympics.
When asked again today about the benching and fine when Cash would not be able to participate anyway, Agler refused to comment further, saying he said everything on Tuesday. In that interview, he related Cash’s situation to when players return late from overseas play because they want to rest at home before reporting to camp. Or, like in Lauren Jackson’s case, want to celebrate a championship. To Agler, the fining is in fairness to the team.
Team co-owner Lisa Brummel attended practice today, but when asked about the Cash situation, she said she had no comment. “I’m leaving that up to the coaching staff and players. I just like to watch practice,” she said. It was humorous that when we started talking about the Games, she said she can’t stand commentary.
“But that’s what Swin Cash, one of your players, does,” I teased.
“I don’t like any commentary for any sport,” she said with a laugh.
Given the facts, the fine/benching is confusing to an outsider. In 2004, former Storm starter Sheri Sam missed part of practice during the Olympic hiatus to attend the Games in Athens to watch friends Jackson and Katie Smith play. Sam also wanted to be supportive of Jackson, who lost her grandmother that summer. Regardless, the move irked former coach Anne Donovan, who benched Sam.
I can understand the Sam benching, but I don’t know why Agler needs Cash in Seattle when she is rehabbing in New York. Every few minutes the Storm name is mentioned during the Olympic women’s basketball broadcasts, which is good for the WNBA and Seattle. Like her agent said, it’s not like Cash is out “boozing in New York having a good time” and not preparing for the return to WNBA action.
“I will be ready to play and go to war with my teammates on Aug. 28,” Cash reiterated this morning. “We should be talking about us getting ready as a team to play Houston. Not me and my back.”
I guess we’ll only know if that’s true once play resumes. As far as teammates go, Agler again circled the wagons and told players not to comment. Center Yolanda Griffith would only say that “the eight people that are here at practice are the only people I’m focused on.”
The Storm scrimmaged today in six-minute sessions and talked about the offense. Tomorrow Agler said the focus would be on defense.
Forward Sheryl Swoopes, who’s on hairstyle No. 5 (a summery blond bob), returned to the court after missing Tuesday’s session with a bruised heel. Agler believes she’ll benefit most from the break because her nagging injuries need rest. Griffith said her left knee and ankle are better.
The real issue is Cash. If play resumes and she’s inconsistent like she was heading into the break, how will you as a fan react?



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