Follow us:

Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

September 12, 2008 at 2:55 PM

O’Neill signed

The Storm signed G/F Kristen O’Neill for the remainder of the season, which equals one more game. Playoff rosters are due on Wednesday, so things could change, but at least she nabbed that contract after a record six seven-day deals. There’s a joke in there somewhere.
Rick, a reader, e-mailed to ask if Storm coach Brian Agler will rest his starters tonight against Atlanta and I’ll have more on this later, but I would expect Agler to take it lightly given the injuries to players like Sue Bird (ankle) and Swin Cash (back). F Sheryl Swoopes (concussion) is not dressing tonight. But the Storm still has a lot to play for, even though Los Angeles’ loss to Atlanta secured second place for Seattle.
In addition to closing out play at KeyArena with a possible franchise-best 16-1 record, if the Storm were to win their final two games, they could have home-court advantage in the WNBA Finals. Of course, the Storm has to advance first, but if they win both or win one and Detroit and Connecticut lose one, Seattle will have the better record.
Defeating LA on Sunday would also help the Storm in the opening round of the playoffs. Sacramento could place third if it can beat San Antonio and Houston and Seattle wins in LA. The Monarchs are a more favorable matchup, despite their defensive pressure. Even though guard play is subpar on the Sparks roster, the rivalry overrides that and the Olympic trio of Candace Parker, Lisa Leslie, and DeLisha Milton-Jones with hit-woman Marie Ferdinand-Harris on the wing would be a pill for Seattle without star Lauren Jackson.
But with the way the Silver Stars are playing, it’s doubtful they’ll lose to Sacramento at home. And due to Hurricane Ike, the Monarchs’ finale is postponed until Monday.
San Antonio’s play brings up a final thought on MVP before the ballots are due. Surely you saw the national exposure Bird received for the award in the USA Today and ESPN this morning and I hope you read our coulmnist Steve Kelley’s take on Bird, too. But while we’re rightfully glorifying Bird for keeping the Storm afloat without Jackson, aren’t we penalizing a possibly equally amazing player in F Sophia Young for doing what she’s supposed to do and getting her team to first in the West?
Readers have shot back the whole, “Well, could Sophia or Becky, or Lindsay carry their team without their stars like Bird?” And I get that argument when whittling down a MVP list. Yet, to me that’s faulting Young for having a healthy team, handling her business and averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 rebounds to help guide the Silver Stars to a current four-game win streak.
And Young plays defense. Bird does more so this season, but I’ve seen plenty of breaks. Plus Young’s team dominated the Storm this season where the forward averaged 17.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, giving Jackson the normal fits.
I don’t know why I’m nitpicking when my vote counts way less than the fan’s first-ever 25 percent (yes, I’m still bitter. And FYI, Jackson said she got her entire family in Australia to vote for Bird). Maybe I want the MVP to grab me like Jackson, Swoopes, Lisa Leslie, and Yolanda Girffith have done in the past. Maybe I just want to make the right decision. But each time I think I’m locked on Bird, I feel like I’m faulting someone else for not having as trying a season.
It’s kind of funny, too, because Bird and I talked about this during the pre-Olympic training in California.
“Are you gonna vote for me?” she said with a giddy smile after explaining that it all doesn’t matter to her. At the time no one was talking about her as MVP and I thought people should because even before Jackson left to prepare for the Games and opted to undergo surgery, Bird was having the kind of season you’ve always imagined a player with her rep as having.
“Well, yeah, I’m thinking about it,” I said in response.
And I guess I still am.



No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►