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her last. 

From Jayda:

In May, during the Storm’s media day, Tina Thompson was asked what’s new.

She paused for a long time before saying she’d like to learn to play tennis. She also likes to golf, but doesn’t have time. And, oh, she’d like to learn to sew more than the drapes she stitched for her home in Houston.

As training camp wore on and her 17th WNBA season began, it was becoming clear to her. It was time to retire and make time for other interests.

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and disheartened.

Heartened: The Liberty are pulling out the stops to get people in the stands. I’ve gotten lots of emails. Trader Bill has been pro active in reaching out to the fans with meet-and-greets. He’s a generous, opinionated interview. And I’ve been offered free tickets.

Ya, free. Get over it, folks. You need to put butts in the seat and hook’em with the product on the floor. Of course, if they’re smart, there will be people handing out flyers and “come back with someone else next game and you get in free” coupons.

Heartened: An MSG person sent me this article: Cheryl Ford is back in WNBA, playing for the Liberty.

Wow, what a concept: the NY Liberty making their fans aware of articles about the team. Like, you know, some kind of news collecting service that helps tell editors that folks are interested in reading about the WNBA. Where have I heard that before?

Disheartened: They sent me the ENTIRE article in the email. Do they not understand the concept of copyright laws? Oiy.

Disheartened: The article comes as close to saying “Cheryl will be a game-by-game player” as it can without actually saying that.

In other news:

From the Atlanta Daily News: WNBA Facts at Your Fingertips

The 17th season of the WNBA tipped off Memorial Day Weekend. That’s right, THE 17th SEASON. Despite the ups and downs associated with the start of any American professional sports league and the additional challenge of establishing a women’s sports league, the WNBA is alive and kicking and poised to reach a new level thanks to an exciting infusion of fresh talent and personalities.

Michelle Smith writes: Candice Dupree a smooth operator

A straight line.

That’s how Phoenix Mercury coach Corey Gaines describes his veteran forward Candice Dupree, and he means it as a compliment.

What is more consistent, more sturdy, more sure a thing than a straight line? No jagged edges, no unexpected dips, no changes of direction. Just the shortest distance between starting a game and winning it. That’s Dupree.

Dupree embodies that steadiness, and Gaines and the Phoenix Mercury have come to rely on it.

The Tulsa GTR says: Diggins, Cambage to Spark Shock

From Newsday: Rookies shine during WNBA’s opening weekend

With Griner now having a WNBA game under her belt—albeit a 102-80 loss to the Sky—she and her fellow WNBA rookies must captain another effort that is near and dear to the league’s heart entering its 17th regular season.

That effort is renewing wide-scale interest in the WNBA itself.

So far so good: WNBA Season Off to Strong Ratings Start; Most-Watched Regular-Season Game on ESPN2 in Nine Years

From DC: With many new faces on hand, the Mystics look to turn things around in 2013

From Redeye’s Ernest Wilkins: WNBA demands your respect

The contest went like this: Them vs me. If I could hit more free throws (out of 10), then I would be the champ.

As for the game itself, can I just go ahead and say Sky guard Epiphanny Prince is my new favorite basketball player? Upon being introduced to me, she sized me up like a wolf would look at a rotisserie chicken, then drained like 19 3s in a row.

Speaking of Chicago, I didn’t want to jinx it, but how cool is this? The Q is in the W: Former Blue Demon Allie Quigley Makes Chicago Sky Roster

From Scott Mammoser at the Examiner: WNBA President Laurel Richie eager to watch Brittney Griner and rookies develop

From Ethan Grant at Bleacher Report: Brittney Griner and Fellow Rookies Have Tough Task of Renewing Interest in WNBA

LZ is grumpy: Stop celebrating women’s dunks

Let us hope this ceases to be breaking news so that she can be judged as a basketball player and not written about like some sort of vaudeville act doing parlor tricks.

I guess…. but, what kind of assumptions is LZ making? Why do they celebrate men’s dunks?

Some of the Swish Appeal folks are grumpy:  Is this “3 to See Campaign” just getting too biased and coming at the expense of other WNBA teams and players?

From the .com: FIVE THINGS WE NOW KNOW ABOUT THE WNBA

From Mechelle’s chat:

Sofia (Durham, NC): As a team, Phoenix looked poor in their season opener. I know it is early but the defensive schemes were way off & their shots were not falling. Will Gaines be on the hot seat if the team does not show dramatic improvement soon?

Mechelle Voepel: It’s really way too soon to be talking about hot seats. :) [WHB begs to differ! <g>] Obviously, the Mercury got a wake-up call from that game, so let’s see how that impacts the rest of the early part of the season.

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in Kate Fagan’s really fine piece: Owning The Middle: Brittney Griner wears bow ties, dates women and dunks with abandon. Call her names if you like — she is done hiding from haters.

Ray Griner is more blunt. He says his daughter hasn’t heard from Mulkey since Baylor’s shocking loss to Louisville in this year’s NCAA tournament. “It’s about dollar signs,” Ray says. “There’s nothing in it for Kim anymore, so she’s done with Brittney.”

Mulkey was once viewed as a fierce defender of Griner. At a news conference during the 2012 Final Four, a reporter asked the coach about the insults Griner receives on social media, and Mulkey delivered a passionate response. “This is someone’s child,” she said. “This is a human being, people.” Griner says she appreciated the gesture, but she couldn’t help feeling that Mulkey was only defending part of her. “If you’re up here protecting me, then protect all of me,” she says. “We can talk about gender, but we can’t talk about the fact that I’m a lesbian?”

Take the time to read the whole thing.

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there are no games?

Don’t worry! L’Alien will fill in the blankness in your life with game recaps and analysis.

WNBA Today, 05/28/2013: Griner dunks but Mercury demolished, while Mystics squeak past Shock

Memorial Day was a big holiday for the WNBA this year. While the season may have begun for the diehards on Friday night, Monday was the launchpad for the vaunted ‘Three to See’ on national television. ESPN2 rolled out the red carpet for Skylar Diggins in Tulsa’s home opener, followed by the professional debuts for Brittney Griner and Elena Delle Donne. It didn’t all go quite according to the anticipated script, but there was some entertaining basketball along the way. Oh, and a couple of dunks. We mustn’t forget the dunks.
Sunday night saw the opening game of 2013 for two teams with very different outlooks on the season. The Los Angeles Sparks have brought back every meaningful piece from a strong 2012 campaign, and added Lindsey Harding to run the point. Their expectations for 2013 are a lot of wins and a deep playoff run, preferably with a parade at the end. Conversely, the Seattle Storm are without star duo Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, have only four rotation players returning from last year, and are hoping to scrap their way through 2013 as best they can. Given all that, maybe the way this game played out shouldn’t have been much of a surprise.
Four more teams got their WNBA seasons started last night, and just because I feel like it, we’re going to go Bullet Point Breakdown on both of them. Away we go.

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Well, the team is set.

Clay at Full Court has more to say:Two surprising additions, one stunning omission, highlight USA U16 roster

As usual, there were surprises when the USA Basketball Women’s Developmental National Team Committee made its decision on a 12-person international roster – but this year, the U16 team that will represent the United States at the FIBA Americas in June, was more than surprising.

First, two of the 12 were not among the 33 players formally invited to try out, but rather were part of the 91 players who came to the Olympic Training Center via the open trials process. Any player could submit an application for these open trials, and though most of those who showed up were high-quality players, some clearly didn’t belong at this level. This time, though, Sabrina Ionescu of Walnut Creek, Calif., and Taylor Murray of Odenton, Md., both perimeter players, and both uninvited, were selected.

One of my favorite New Orleans Final Four moments was running into Mary (Coyle) Klinger and hearing her talk about how thrilled she was to have been named assistant for this team. Reminded me of how important USA Women’s basketball is to some folks.

The U-19ers are also set: Talented 12-Member 2013 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team Announced

Headlined by three returning members of the gold-medal winning 2011 USA Basketball Women’s U19 World Championship Team, USA Basketball today following four days of trials announced the 12-member team that will represent the red, white and blue as it attempts to capture its fifth-straight gold medal at the 2013 FIBA U19 World Championship, hosted by Lithuania from July 18-28 in Klaipeda and Panevėžys. Held May 16-19 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA U19 trials featured 33 athletes age 19-years-old and younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1994). The team was selected by the USA Basketball Junior National Team Committee, chaired by UT Chattanooga head coach Jim Foster.

Speaking of USA Basketball Committees: Kara Lawson – Player, Committee Member, Commentator

The very busy Kara Lawson is involved now in just about every level of women’s basketball as a Connecticut Sun guard, ESPN analyst and USA Basketball committee member.

Last week, she was in Colorado Springs, Colo., in her new capacity as a member of the selection group that picked the 12-member teams that will represent the nation this summer in the FIBA U19 world championship and World University Games.

Speaking of USA Basketball in general: 5 questions with USA Basketball’s Carol Callan

5. At this point four years ago leading up to the 2010 world championships and 2012 Olympics, you had a women’s national team coach (Geno Auriemma) in place. No coach has been named for 2014/2016 yet. Where are you in that process and do you have a timetable for it?

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Whoa, who’s going to guard EDD? (Paging Nneka! Paging Nneka!).

Snap judgment: EDD for ROY.

To Russia with love? Sure, Piph wants to play in the Olympics, but damn, girl, you’re important to this team (see last year).

Snap judgment: Sky needs to get a comfortable lead in the East so they can hold on and make the playoffs.

Who’s going to light a fire under the Mercury? They couldn’t have looked less interested in playing yesterday — and that was on defense (as always) and on offense.

Snap judgment: Corey’s on the hot seat.

What a difference a year makes: How much fun was the Tulsa (Yes, TULSA, ESPN!)/Mystics game?!? Whoop! Whoop!

Snap judgment:  Coach K & T split COY awards.

Rome wasn’t re-built in a day, nor was the Detroit Shock/Newark Liberty. Even if Ford and Pierson get healthy, defense and offense are an issue.

Snap judgment: Liberty don’t make the playoffs.

Yes, it’s going to be a loooong season in San Antonio and Seattle.

Snap judgment: Storm and Silver Stars get the first and second picks in the 2014 draft.

“Baby, you can drive my (reaaaaally, reaaaally) nice car!” The happiest point guard in the west is Ms. Harding. The happiest MVP candidate is Ms. Parker.

Snap judgment: The Minny/LA rivalry will heat up big time. Expect technicals.

Snap judgment, two: Hollywood rediscovers the Sparks.

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pi$$ing match.

Analyzing the stigma lesbian athletes face and how Brittney Griner can be seen as a trailblazer too

Jason Collins put an end to a very long wait last month. Finally, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community had an active, openly gay male athlete in one of the four major American sports they could look up to. In a culture where sports and sports figures dominate and set the tone for the rest of society, it was a noteworthy step forward.

However, while some may have pointed out the courageous active female athletes who have come out over the past 32 years to pave the way for Collins, few would have suggested that any lesbian athlete from the past had as much to lose when they came out as Jason Collins did.

Helen Carroll, the sports project director at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, summed up what lesbian athletes go through by saying, “it’s not easier for women, because they are dealing with sexism and homophobia at the same time, always.”

Former Baylor players respond to controversy about Brittney Griner’s coming out story (the comments are mighty interesting)

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