Or is it?
Imported-New Yorker that I am, I won’t complain if LA wins. It’s good for the league and it will make my friend Maria really, really happy. But I really, really, reaaaalllly want it to go five – for the in-arena fanbases and for the at-home viewers. So, fingers crossed.
Minnesota and Los Angeles couldn’t come to the Finals with two more different storylines.
The Lynx have hauled in three league championships in five years, and are fighting to stay on top. They have a core group and a coach who have been together for a long time, contrary to many other WNBA teams.
On the other end of the spectrum is the Sparks, who haven’t been to a Finals since 2003, after winning back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002. Their core formed slowly and didn’t coalesce until this season. They have had four coaches in the last six years.
For both teams, the essential question is the same: can we stay together and win this series?
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne: After a year of slights, Sparks’ Candace Parker can cement her legacy in Game 4
At this point, after all that has happened in the past year, this latest insult barely registers. Ten players were named to the WNBA’s first and second teams on Friday and not one of them was the woman who is still considered by many to be one of the best female basketball players in the world: Candace Parker.
NOTE: Remember voted the 1st & 2nd team voter of often are media folks who do. not. cover. the WHOLE (or even part) WNBA. At this moment in time, I say yank the privilege out of their hands and let the coaching staff and players decide (and media who’ve filed a certain number of articles across the season?). CP was insulted by folks who don’t know better. Let those who do speak their mind.
One win away from winning the WNBA Championship, the Sparks aren’t changing anything. Their preparation will remain the same, their routines stay status quo.
Ahead of Game 4 of the WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx, the Sparks are simply getting back to business as usual.
The coach standing between the Minnesota Lynx and their third championship in four seasons is the same coach who guided the Lynx in their earliest years in the WNBA.
That coach also owns the most victories in the history of American women’s professional basketball.
.com: Sparks Practice Report: Avoiding Another Letdown
Mechelle: Los Angeles looks to close out Minnesota
Nneka Ogwumike remembers a feeling of uncertainty and even butterflies when she was playing in the Women’s Final Four and championship games with Stanford. Those games seemed like a whirlwind, where random chance might come into play in the one-and-done nature of the NCAA tournament.
These WNBA Finals aren’t like that for her
Fox Sports: Sparks look to close out Lynx in Game 4
What is making the 2016 WNBA Finals a special one is the level of competition — it’s off the charts.
The Minnesota Lynx were frustrated with getting behind early and playing catch-up throughout Friday’s Game 3 loss to Los Angeles in the WNBA Finals. That forces them into a must-win situation Sunday, when they’ll have to beat the Sparks here at Staples Center in order to send the series back to Minnesota for a decisive Game 5.
But being a sports fan, as well as a coach, Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve actually does understand why this series has had such momentum shifts. That tends to happen when two really, really good teams face off.
The Minnesota Lynx have a core group of players participating in their fifth WNBA Finals in the last six seasons. The Los Angeles Sparks only have one player who has made it this far before, and she is a seldom-used reserve.
Take a listen to Lynx Radio: Sylvia Fowles
From Swish Appeal: After Game 3 shellacking, is Lynx’s reign over tonight?
40 minutes is all that separates the Los Angeles Sparks and their first WNBA championship since 2002. 40 minutes are separating Candace Parker from the only WNBA honor that has eluded her in her illustrious career.
If the three-time Minnesota Lynx have it their way, that 40-minute window will be extended to Thursday for Game 5, where they can claim their fourth championship in six years in front of their hometown crowd.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are witnessing WNBA basketball at its finest.
Buried deep on page two was an eight-sentence story about the Los Angeles Sparks win over the Chicago Sky, that further informed readers the Sparks would play in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) finals against the Minnesota Lynx. Other than that short article, the only other mention of the five-game championship series was a canned schedule of the dates and times for the games.
Now I’m not saying that stories about the surprising success of the Vikings, the latest Gopher football collapse and the discussion of a Gopher basketball program coming off one of its worst seasons in history don’t belong in the sports section, but, hey, how about a little Title IX-like love for the women.
Let’s put this all in perspective: Hoffarth on the media: Holly Rowe’s WNBA support group helps her pull through cancer battle
With all the grace and elegance she could muster, Holly Rowe sent the tweet out earlier this month: “I find it rather awkward that I currently share a hair style with Billy Idol. #stupidcancer”
It drew more than a dozen responses ranging from “You rock it better,” to “Own it Girl! Keeping you in our prayers.”
As she is scheduled to be on the sidelines at Staples Center for Game 4 of Sunday’s WNBA Finals against the Minnesota Lynx — a possible closeout contest for the Sparks (ESPN2, 5:30 p.m.), a quick turnaround after doing Saturday’s ESPN Mississippi-Arkansas college football game in Fayetteville, Ark., Rowe continues to do her own rebel yell against desmoplastic melanoma.
Don’t lose this in the shuffle: NY Times: In a Pioneering Moment for the WNBA, Players Unite in Protests Over Injustices
Even as the W.N.B.A. finals between the Los Angeles Sparks and the Minnesota Lynx draw to a close, the issues of the summer remain on the players’ minds. Like most W.N.B.A. players, in the winter Bone competes overseas, where salaries are higher. But she committed to a shortened season in China this year so she could return in January to help deal with the clean water crisis in Flint, Mich.
Bone arrived in China on Monday and already feels frustrated watching news unfold in the United States.
“I didn’t want my protesting to be looked at something that was disrespectful,” Bone, who has spent almost half her time over the past three years in Turkey and China, said by telephone last week. “I’ve been to several different countries across the world, and the one thing that remains true is I’m an American and I’m proud to be one. I had to ask though, Is America proud of people that look like me?”
Gondrezick’s father, Grant, was a standout guard at Pepperdine and went on to play in the NBA and overseas. Her mother, Lisa Harvey-Gondrezick, was part of Louisiana Tech’s 1988 national championship team and is the varsity girls coach at Benton Harbor. Her sister, Kalabrya, is a sophomore guard at Michigan State.
“I really didn’t have a choice growing up,” Gondrezick said of playing basketball. “I guess it’s kind of destined where I am today, but I’m just trying to build an identity for myself and build onto the legacy of my family.”
Oregon: Crown jewel of a historic class
Ionescu kept Graves and her new teammates in the dark until her father pulled into the parking lot at Matthew Knight Arena to drop off the national high school player of the year on the eve of UO’s first summer school session.
“It was crazy,” is how Ionescu described her recruiting process. “I definitely enjoyed taking my time and waiting and not rushing into anything. It was stressful, but it’s just something that came along with the decision that I made. …
WATN? Irish Badger: Madison Cable joins Wisconsin coaching staff