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June 1, 2009 at 11:34 AM

WNBA Monday morning dribble

BatkovicWeddingParty.jpgMy apologizes for the weekend drought. My computer crashed and I couldn’t get a replacement until today. Of course, it was one for the busier weekends for the Storm. There was the wedding of Matt Brown to C Suzy Batkovic where WNBA players Lauren Jackson (shown far left by The Daily Telegraph) and Penny Taylor (far right) were in the bridal party. Jackson was the maid of honor.
In the states, Seattle played its final exhibition game — a loss in Phoenix after leading by 15 points in the second half. And made a few cuts in F La’Tangela Atkinson and C Kasha Terry. The roster now stands at 13 players, 11 in camp.
It appears Storm coach Brian Agler likes his returnees and with the improving health of Swin Cash (back), who practiced last week, leaving his wing position is stabilized. That leaves just one slot open.
You can probably guess correctly that it’ll go to rookie draft pick Ashley Walker over training camp invitees A’Quonesia Franklin and Aja Praham. One invitee may be kept until Batkovic-Brown arrives on June 7, but Agler said he was going to play Saturday’s game as he would during the season and neither invitee played. Walked logged 20 minutes and posted a double-double in 12 points and 12 boards.
Jackson is at practice today. With Camille Little and Walker able to play SF along with Katie Gearlds and Cash, plus Agler liking the look of a three-guard lineup, the Storm has enough talented options to make it through a competitive Western Conference.
The biggest news, however, is Phoenix becoming the first to sell space on its jersey to a sponsor. Instead of “Mercury,” you’ll see LifeLock stripped across the chest.
DTLifeLock.jpgThe look is ugly, but I stopped buying jerseys in the 1990s with John Starks. I think it’s great for the league that a team can find sponsorships and is willing to part with prime space to display a company name. Yet, it would be nice if the actual team name/moniker were more important than the sponsor logo.
Now, if I’m a casual fan, I’m looking at the WNBA like I look at MLS. Really? They’re the Phoenix LifeLocks? I know a regular fan won’t make this flub, but a newcomer might.
Still, I’d rather all teams find these types of sponsorships. It’s worth $1 million, which at least covers the team salary cap. And this is done in plenty of other sports from UFC to NASCAR. Plus, players’ jerseys are covered in sponsorship logos overseas.
What I don’t want to see is the WNBA continue to do deals with McDonalds or other companies that are unhealthy or have blatant conservative goals which are harmful to society. Sports are a forum that has also brought people together. To use the platform for personal agendas or deny the influence they have on impressionable youths is wrong and the wrong way to make a buck.



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