Silly me. I think it’s safe to unplug, catch up with family, friends and that thing we call work ’cause its “Down time in women’s basketball!”
So, in order of loudness: Parker and the Olympics
Obviously, there’s a there’s a ton of stuff that we don’t know… and will never now. What makes the story even more fraught is that, like an onion, there are layers and layers of people around the story.
Seems to me there are a couple of narratives swirling around:
- The Selection Committee of USA Basketball (Carol Callan (USA Basketball), Reneé Brown (WNBA), Dan Hughes (WNBA), Chris Sienko (WNBA), Katie Smith (Athlete Representative)) made a decision on who should or shouldn’t be on the team based on several factors. In one of the most challenging decision years ever, they made a choice that several people have opinions on. For instance:
Doug: Candace Parker disappointed, will not be on US hoops roster
Mechelle: Omitting Parker is a bad call by USA Basketball and USA Basketball’s failure to offer answers fuels speculation around Candace Parker’s exclusion
Sporting News: Candace Parker’s Olympic snub ushers in new era of women’s hoops
2. USA head coach Geno Auriemma has a grudge against Tennessee and Pat Summitt, so he demanded that Parker not be on the team.
For instance: All for Tennessee: Was Candace Parker Railroaded from Team USA by Geno Auriemma?
This narrative makes the most sense to me. Yes, USA Basketball has stated ad nauseam that “the Committee makes the decisions,” but they’re lying. Contrary to what Tara wrote, it’s the USA basketball head coach who decides who wears the red, white and blue – which is why Parker is not on the team.
Sure, it’s been since January 7, 2007 that the Huskies faced the Vols, but Candace Parker was on. that. team. And they beat UConn, 70-62. And Parker scored 30. AND she dunked. And you know what is it they say: Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Auriemma couldn’t keep Parker off the 2008 team (he wasn’t the coach), and couldn’t keep her off the London team (probably didn’t have the power yet). Worse, when in London, he couldn’t stop her from taking over during the gold medal game against France. That must have been what set him off on his plotting. Now, four years later, he’s gotten exactly what he knows will make his career worthwhile: no Parker on the Olympic team.
Sure, he’s just coming off winning his 11th National Championship.
Sure, he’s just won four Final Fours in a row.
Sure, he just had his seniors be pick 1-2-3 in the WNBA Draft.
Sure, he’s so fried he ended up in the hospital.
Sure, he knew there would be a fan and player and coach and media firestorm that would pull the attention from the team he was going to coach in Rio….
But it’s all worth it. That kid who graduated from Tennessee in 2008 is not going to Rio. NOW his coaching resume is complete.
Just in case: sarchasm. the gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’ t get it.