Series Note: The Storm did not advance to the postseason for the first time since 2003. The team held its exit interviews in August. This series will feature conversations from the 12-player roster. PG Sue Bird’s conversation was a feature used in the newspaper. In a new move, the WNBA held the draft lottery…More
Topic: Skylar Diggins
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From the WNBA: WNBA PRESIDENT LAUREL J. RICHIE MODERATOR: Welcome everyone to the WNBA Finals 2014 presented by Boost Mobile. We’ll begin with WNBA President Laurel J. Richie, who will make opening remarks and we’ll proceed to questions. Laurel J. RICHIE: Good afternoon, everyone. It’s kind of exciting, the moment we have all been waiting for is…More
Due to a computer glitch, my WNBA power rankings for the week of July 22 didn’t and won’t post on the main Sports site. I’ve posted them here and, in case you missed it, the accompanying “WNBA Talk” was with women’s basketball Hall of Fame inductee Gail Goestenkors. She resigned last weekend from her…More
Did I expect to tune into a WNBA game and hear how wonderful it is to be a lesbian? No. But when the league sent a media release in May boasting about a new initiative to “celebrate inclusion and equality, while combating anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) bias,” naturally I was intrigued as…More
Phoenix announced Friday former Storm G Sandy Brondello as its new head coach. An Australian Olympian, Brondello replaces Corey Gaines, who was fired in August, and interim coach Russ Pennell, who led the team to an unexpected appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
Brondello, who was also named Mercury vice president and director of player personnel, spent the past three seasons as an assistant to Los Angeles coach Carol Ross. Brondello played for the Storm during the 2003 season and is currently coaching with her husband in Russia for Storm PG Sue Bird’s UMMC Yekaterinburg team.
The Phoenix hire leaves two WNBA head coaching positions open in Tulsa and Atlanta and Storm assistant coach Jenny Boucek is in conversations with both teams. Tulsa fired former Storm assistant coach Gary Kloppenburg after an improved season for the Shock. Tulsa finished 9-25 and 11-23 in his two seasons — the team’s best since relocating from Detroit in 2010.
Atlanta reached the WNBA Finals for a third time in the organization’s history but after being swept by Minnesota in embarrassing fashion, it fired first-year coach Fred Williams. The Dream was eight days removed from the best-of-five series when the decision was announced.More
The WNBA named its All-Star reserves on Tuesday. For the first time in the midsummer classic’s 11-year history, the Storm will not be represented. The omission also makes Seattle the only member of the 12-team league not represented in the game set to tip on Saturday at 12:30pm PT on ABC from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
With the franchise’s All-Star mainstays Lauren Jackson (hamstring) and Sue Bird (knee) out due to injury, many believed F Tina Thompson would get the nod for Seattle. Thompson is the WNBA’s last remaining player from its 1997 inaugural season, the No. 1 overall draft pick that season. An eight-time All-Star, Thompson announced she is retiring this season after a storied 17-year career.
“That doesn’t mean anything to Tina,” said agent Aaron Goodwin, whose firm is based in Seattle. “Selfishly, I want her to be an All-Star because it would be a great way to go out in her career. But I don’t think it means anything except for the fact that, this late in her career, she’s her being considered for it shows the type of career she’s had.
“We wouldn’t want the league to just put her on there. She’s earned everything she’s got in her career. That’s the way she started as the No. 1 pick and that’s the way she’s going to go out.”
Thompson, the WNBA’s all-time leading scorer (7,195 points), is averaging 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds for the 6-10 Storm. Seattle ranks fourth in the Western Conference, good enough for the final playoff berth if the season were to end today.More
FINAL STRETCH: Seattle is up 39-37 headed into the final quarter. Little and Thompson has eight points apiece. Seattle is shooting and icy 26.9 percent from the field. I’m out to focus on the daily story. Check our Saturday paper for the final wrap.
A FIRST: The Shock were awarded the first defensive three-second violation at KeyArena. Wright made the FT on the technical foul to put Seattle up 38-32. MacKay checked in with 2:46 on the clock, making her first appearance in the game.
NEW LINEUP: The second half is underway with Quinn, Johnson, and Little starting alongside Sanford and Strick. Seattle is up 32-25 with 7:12 on the clock.
SWAG: In her second year, you can see the confident swagger in Strick, the 2012 No. 2 overall pick. She played a season in Turkey, which helped her play. Knowing her teammates has also helped her look good in the exhibition game. She has three points and six boards in 16 minutes. Little and Hawkins have six points apiece to lead the Seattle scoring. Glory Johnson has game-highs in points (10) and rebounds (10). The Storm is up 28-25 at the break.More
The WNBA signed a six-year extension with ESPN that is separate from the network’s NBA deal, according to breaking news from Sports Business Daily. Sources said the deal is worth $12M per year, which amounts to about $1M per WNBA team, and runs through the 2022 season. Along with the broadcast announcement, WNBA
Washington (14-5, 6-2) is in a peculiar position at the quasi midway point of the Pac-12 conference season. Win its home games to date? Check. Sweep standard rival WSU? Done. Work way to a slot in the standings with room for error? Well…
With 10 games remaining in conference play, UW is tied with No. 18 UCLA (15-4, 6-2) for third. It appears cushy, until you realize four of the remaining games are against teams ranked nationally in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll. The good news? The UCLA, No. 4 Stanford (18-2, 7-1) and No. 6 Cal (17-2, 7-1) games are at Alaska Airlines Arena. And the Huskies only play the Cardinal and Bears once.
UW coach Kevin McGuff doesn’t like to speculate about the season or whether the Huskies put themselves in position to really make a run at a finish in the Pac-12’s upper half. But some players like to watch the standings, making last weekend’s wins against Oregon (Sunday) and Oregon State (Friday) even sweeter. The team had to play without PG Jaz Davis, who suffered a concussion in a road win against Washington State.
“These are really crucial wins for us,” Washington junior G Mercedes Wetmore said after beating Oregon. “We’re hoping we can take care of a lot of the Arizonas, the Oregons and the Wazzus. That was our goal.”
UW has a chance to sweep the desert schools in its road trip to Arizona (Friday) and Arizona State (Sunday) this week. But sweeping Oregon State won’t be easy. OSU coach Scott Rueck is bitter about the finish in regulation that led to the overtime loss at Hec Ed.More
The WNBA brass convened last month and Renee Brown, the WNBA’s chief of basketball operations and player relations, revealed its decision on new rules Thursday morning. Sorry, there’s no anti-tanking rule to protect what many believed Phoenix was guilty of last season to grab a coveted No. 1 overall draft pick. And, thankfully, UConn legendary coach Geno Auriemma’s idea to lower rims in women’s basketball also wasn’t installed.
Here’s the release on the rulings the league did make:
The WNBA will implement new rules regarding flopping and defensive three-seconds, while also extending the three-point line, Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations Renee Brown announced today following the league’s Board of Governor’s Meeting. The rules will go into effect beginning with the 2013 season.
“Flops that are intended to mislead referees into calling undeserved fouls or fool fans into believing a foul call was missed are a detriment to the game,” Brown said. “With that, both the Board of Governors and the Competition Committee felt strongly that a player who, upon video review by the league, is believed to have committed a flop will, after an initial warning, be given an automatic penalty.”
“Flopping” will be defined as any physical act that, upon review, reasonably appears to have been intended to cause the referees to call a foul on another player.
The primary factor in determining if a player committed a flop is whether her physical reaction to an action by another player (whether or not that action resulted in contact) is inconsistent with what would reasonably be expected given the force, direction, or nature of the action of the other player. An example would be a player who lunges, flails, or falls following minimal or non-existent contact with an opponent.