Is this still you, Doug? WNBA President Wants Teams to Have Community Conversations
Lisa Borders and WNBA players are ready to move forward.
With the league resuming play this weekend after a month-long Olympic break, Borders outlined to The Associated Press a plan to have teams and players hold conversations in the community similar to what Carmelo Anthony and the U.S. Olympic basketball teams did in Los Angeles last month. The WNBA president said that was a solid blueprint for what can be done in each WNBA city.
The WNBA Olympic break wasn’t necessarily time off for players, as the work never truly stops. Most athletes spent their time working out and training in preparation of the final stretch of the season.
Besides the on-court activities and time spent in the gym, players also bonded with each other through team dinners, community service, charity events, and group outings.
Here are the best social media posts displaying everything from basketball clinics to practices, USA Olympic viewing parties to beach selfies, and everything in between.
With teams this great and representative, it is tempting to let the significances of the accomplishment overtake the thing itself. Team USA’s roll through Rio was so expected that, watching it, you could catch yourself missing the actual play, contextualizing in real time. But while this squad was as dominant as any in recent memory, it was also a pure blast. For two weeks, the U.S. women played the rarest kind of basketball: steady, soulful, virtuosic, fiery, total.
Definitely Doug: Olympics done, WNBA ready for sprint to the finish
There should be quite the sprint to the finish during the league’s final weeks, starting Friday through Sept. 18.
“Very excited to get the back end of the season going,” WNBA President Lisa Borders said. “You think about the format changes, top eight teams make the playoffs, doesn’t matter what your geography is, it matters what your record is.”
Only 4 1-2 games separate fourth place and 11th after the league changed its playoff format this season to get rid of conferences. The top eight teams will make the playoffs.
You wonder if the WNBA participants in the Summer Olympics feel like they’ve just starred in a multi-episode run of the old “Super Friends” cartoon — especially the romp-to-the-gold U.S. team members — and now are headed to an episodic run of “Survivor.”
Sometimes the quiet Williams allows his team to scrimmage without pause. But on this particular day even a made basket does not guarantee his team, in the middle of a six-game losing streak, will be above reproach. He reminds his players that it’s not a good shot if a couple dribbles here or a pass there can create a better one.
“You have to call them out on it,” Williams says afterwards with a knowing smile on his face. “If you just let them keep doing it then they’re just going to keep doing it. Bad habits.”
SLAM: As the Liberty currently have 18 wins, what is this team’s focus for the remainder of the season?
BL: Execution, since we work on it every day and try to focus on it. We need to grind out as many wins as possible. We know there’s a couple of magic numbers, that we need to hit in order to secure certain seeding, so that’s our goal.
On what she learned from the Olympic experience about basketball and winning:
“I think I learned a lot. Being able to be on that team with (Diana Taurasi) and Sue (Bird), who have obviously been there awhile, but also on a team with 11 other great players. They continued to put the emphasis on putting your country before everything else. We weren’t caught up in anything else except winning and representing our country and just knowing how big that was on the Olympic level.”
Jim Fuller, New Haven Register: UConn great Breanna Stewart: “Nothing compares to the Olympics.”
After a five week hiatus, the WNBA’s historic 20th season resumes on Friday night, with a big five game slate throwing us right back into the fire. Here’s what to watch for as the WNBA gets back in gear.
Minnesota Lynx at Connecticut Sun – 7 PM EST
Fresh off a gold-medal winning performance down in Rio, the Lynx’s four Olympians will tip off the WNBA’s return to action with their 7 PM EST meeting with the Connecticut Sun.
In the two teams’ only meeting this year, the Sun scored a surprising 93-89 victory in overtime, handing the Lynx one of the just four losses they suffered before the Olympic break. Maya Moore was spectacular in the loss, dropping a season-high 40 points and grabbing 8 rebounds.
Bienvenido: Minnesota Lynx Re-Sign Guard Anna Cruz
Other writers have made the point that the Mystics don’t have enough talent. I think it is worth examining a little closer in terms of expectation.
What I have done is rank the team according to ‘disappointment’ this season.
For me, “disappointment” is a metric. I will provide more numbers before the Mystics get back to business in another post on how to define disappointment, but the relative term works for now.
Though the Wings have sunk in the standings of late, they are 3-0 this season against the Mercury (10-14). They will try to complete that sweep in the first game after the month-long Olympic break.
Excelle: WATCH: US Rowing women’s eight celebrates, responds to Diana Taurasi
LaChina Robinson wraps up the Olympic break with her ‘Around the Rim’ podcast — Olympic victories and guests Julie Foudy and Teresa Edwards.
When you stick to your principals: Vermont women’s basketball team cancels game at UNC over HB2 law
Where will they be? Mistie Bass and Eddie Praley Named Graduate Assistants for #IUWBB