Game two’s on tap, and folks are on edge after the great game these two teams gave us. On national, not-cable TV. And it was, by the way, the Most-Watched WNBA Finals Game 1 Ever on ABC
In case you missed it, from Slam: WATCH: WNBA Finals Game 1 Mini-Movie
Nina at USA Today: First game of WNBA finals ends in ridiculous game-winning buzzer-beater
Heather Rule for USA Today: Alana Beard wasn’t first option, but best one for Sparks
Jon Krawczynski for the AP: Sparks’ Alana Beard Hits Buzzer-Beater to Defeat Lynx in Game 1
With Parker and Ogwumike in the paint, Beard found herself alone in the corner. She took the pass from Chelsea Gray and knocked down a jumper with Maya Moore’s hand in her face.
“I don’t think I’ve ever hit a game-winner,” Beard said quietly. “So it’s pretty cool. Pretty cool.”
Swish Appeal: Alana Beard’s buzzer-beater stuns Lynx in Game 1
“Everybody is going to talk about [Beard’s] shot,” Parker said after Game 1. “But the key defense two possessions before that, that she blocked Lindsey Whalen and she got a steal with Maya Moore, those were the two possessions that were crucial for us.”
More Swish: WNBA Finals: 4 Takeaways from Game 1
Chas Melvin: WNBA Finals What we learned in game 1?
Minneapolis NPR: The WNBA Finals year 20: Minnesota Lynx vs Los Angeles Sparks
Fingers crossed: WNBA legends project Finals to be a classic
Mechelle: Lynx look to even series in Game 2
Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve is an expert at analyzing her team, but this is one thing she really can’t explain.
In each of their five WNBA Finals appearances, the Lynx have had the best record and been the host for the first two games. However, they’ve lost the opener now three times.
“Isn’t that crazy?” Reeve mused. “I kind of went back and thought about it. I think each year is different, but it was surprising to me.”
“When she starts with the stories, I listen,” Lynx teammate Maya Moore said. “Because they’re so funny. She impersonates people and adds her own little touches to it. She’s quite a character.”
However, the stories from Augustus’ beloved hometown of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, haven’t been amusing this year. The massive rain and subsequent flooding that hit the area in August wrought horrific damage that will take a long time to clean up and rebuild. Many people were also left devastated emotionally.
“I’ll show you a picture of my grandmother’s house,” Augustus said while getting out her phone to display a gigantic pile of debris. “That’s how the entire street looked. So many people lost all their belongings.”
History was on display at Target Center on Sunday.
Prior to Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, the league invited players who made the Top 20 at 20 list for a recognition event in conjunction with their 20th anniversary season. Four of those players, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore, Candace Parker and Lindsay Whalen are participating in the Finals. Twelve others took part in a media roundtable that offered a glimpse the WNBA’s impact for women and sports.
The gathering of athletes who left a remarkable impression on women’s basketball was a cool sight. Recent retirees like Tamika Catchings and Swin Cash joked about wanting to be in the Finals while reflecting on their upcoming career pivots. Legends like Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, Becky Hammon, Lisa Leslie and Ticha Penicheiro discussed how their involvement with the league led the way to job opportunities that keep them involved in sports. Active members like Sue Bird and Cappie Pondexter were in awe, being alongside the people they grew up watching while sharing their thoughts about how their careers will progress.
Quick hist from College
Here’s a good read: The NBA’s First Female and Openly Lesbian Ref Recalls 19 Years of Close Calls
Throughout Palmer’s career as an NBA referee, she said she never had any player use discriminatory language toward her or make homophobic comments in her presence, despite it being common knowledge within the league that she is gay. Palmer believes it’s because the NBA is a diverse organization that pushes for equality on a variety of levels. “If they weren’t for diversity, they would have never given me a chance in the first place,” Palmer added. “And from the beginning, they have always been supportive of me and my success. I’ve never gotten any negative vibes regarding my sexuality from the league or the players.”
This doesn’t mean she hasn’t faced intense scrutiny for her gender over the years. “This is a man’s game, and it should stay that way,” NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley oncequipped. “Can’t pat them on the butt anymore,” Michael Jordan told the Chicago Tribune upon learning of her hiring. Dennis Rodman chimed in with a stab of his own, as recounted in footage from a recent documentary short about Palmer, titled Queen Vee: “Well, if you take her hair off, I think she’s a man.”
In U.S. News, ya might wanna read this: Sarah Spain on What we mean when we say ‘locker room talk’
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Trump rushed to the safety of the locker room to excuse his words. For years players, coaches and media have excused crude language, hate speech, immorality and even criminal acts in actual locker rooms as toughening-up exercises, harmless hazing or even team bonding.
Even as the world around it evolves, the sports sphere is still very much a haven for antiquated ideas, misogynistic beliefs and over-the-top masculinity. By making the locker room a sort of mythologized space where men are free to shed the morality and humanity of the outside world, we’re, in essence, excusing that behavior.