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Dishin’ and Swishin’ podcast: ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel shares early WNBA thoughts

Doug Robinson, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Dream’s two vets not giving up on title

Breanna Stewart’s Debut Ranks Among Best in WNBA History

Rookie Report: First WNBA Memories and As Former UConn Teammates Become Opponents, Friendship Remains Strong

Aussies in WNBA: Phillips and Taylor find form

Ah, the life of a rookie post: Imani Boyette

D-N-P. Three letters no baller can ever ignore. Ever.

For those of you who don’t know what DNP means. It’s “did not play”. Now, for the record, “did not play” is different from INJ, which would mean I was injured. No shame in not playing because you’re injured.

But I’M HEALTHY, PEOPLE!

Phoenix Mercury kicks off 20th season, works to draw young fans

If you need an “assist” keeping the kids busy this summer, the Phoenix Mercury is ready to help.

The WNBA team’s lineup, with a home opener on Friday, May 20, will include lots of things for the youngest fans to do both on and off the court.

Vince Kozar, the team’s vice president of business operations, says a Mercury game makes for a great family outing. “I think a two-hour basketball game with entertainment during time-outs, music all the time and other options is ideal,” he says.

Percy Allen at the Seattle Times: Jenny Boucek says Storm’s identity ‘still unfolding’

“It wouldn’t necessarily surprise me to hear some differing opinions about our identity, because we haven’t talked a lot about that,” second-year coach Jenny Boucek said. “I don’t want to determine their identity. They have to grow up into it. I’m not trying to change people or this team. It’s still unfolding before us.

“It’s like a baby. You don’t know how exactly they’re going to look like, how tall they’re going to be and what their exact gifts are going to be. You start to get a sense when they’re young, but it’s still part of the growth process.”

WNBA now has the best Wings in Dallas

Games:

It was in their grasp, then Jewell Loyd’s Game Winner, Career-High 30 Points Lifted Storm Over Mercury. Also, Breanna Stewart earns first WNBA win with double double in Phoenix

Mystics are a mess and got mauled by Toliver and the Sparks.

It’s tough to find things to praise after a game like this, but guard Bria Hartley deserves some. Starting in place of Natasha Cloud (illness), Hartley put together one of her better performances as a facilitator, dishing seven assists to just one turnover in 25 minutes of play. Historically more of a scoring combo guard, Mystics fans should be excited to see Hartley’s development as a playmaker for others.

Indiana ignored the excitement around Stephanie maybe going to Vanderbilt, came out focused and topped the Dream.

NCAA

Ron Higgins, Nola.com: Sagging LSU women’s basketball program gets a positive injection hiring assistant Mickie DeMoss

Well, hello! Abi Olajuwon named EMU women’s basketball assistant coach

And welcome: Cheryl Miller to coach women’s basketball at Cal State LA

The handover: Buscaglias become synonymous with Robert Morris women’s basketball program

Susie Gardner looks ahead to key summer for Mercer women’s basketball

WATN? Former WNBA first round pick Ta’Shia Phillips added to Indianapolis women’s basketball staff

You say Hello, we say goodbye? Stephanie White Over the Years

High School

DOH! Lakewood Ranch cited for rules violations by girls basketball coach Tina Hadley

Lakewood Ranch High School has been cited for conducting illegal practices with its highly successful girls basketball program, putting the school on probation for a year. It also could be fined more than $30,000.

International:

Optimism Abound as Canada Preps for Training Camp and Thornhill resident plays key supporting role in Canadian women’s basketball success

USA Basketball:

The game times for the Olympic basketball competition were released today. The entire schedule can be found via this link. The USA women’s team game schedule is as follows (note the times below are listed EDT/local). All the games will be televised and/or streamed live on one of the NBC platforms. Specific network information will come at a later date.

Sunday, Aug. 7 

11 am/12 pm vs. Senegal

 

Monday, Aug. 8 

11 am/12 pm vs. Olympic Qualifying Tournament 4th-ranked team

 

Wednesday, Aug. 10 

2:30 pm/3:30 pm vs. Serbia

 

Friday, Aug. 12 

2:30 pm/3:30 pm vs. Canada

 

Sunday. Aug. 14 

11:15 am/12:15 pm vs. Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2nd-ranked team

 

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Yah, tell me you thought you’d be reading this headline in your lifetime: Jessica Davenport powers Fever past Sky

Yup! Indy went home and got a welcome win after two road losses.

“It’s always nice to be at home and to have that home crowd behind us,” Davenport said. “I thought our road trip was pretty tough, but we had a great practice yesterday and everyone had energy. I think just being at home helped a lot.”

Seattle was just as happy to return home, spanking San Antonio 73-55.

“That’s the kind of basketball we want to play right there — I don’t know any way else to put it,” Wright said. “That’s the kind of basketball we want to play, we need to play, and in order to be successful, we have to play. We wanted to go into the (All-Star) break on a good note after that three-game skid.”

In other W news: From El Alien –

Before we get to yesterday’s games, first the big news from this afternoon. If the announcement that the worst team in the league is releasing their 11th player can ever truly be considered ‘big’. After 47 appearances, the Tulsa Shock finally decided that Marion Jones had served her purpose on their roster and cut her today, in order to sign backup center Abi Olajuwon. In the eyes of most WNBA fans it was about time, but some will still be sorry to see her go.

From Jayda: Take Two: Storm isn’t getting what it hoped for from veteran Katie Smith

The urge is to cover your mouth before the thought rushes out.

Has Seattle been blinded by the glitter of another legend on the downslide?

I know. Say it isn’t so. Not Katie Smith.

But the Storm has been here before with Yolanda Griffith, Shannon Johnson and Sheryl Swoopes. All were once premier athletes who created a buzz during their signings only to falter to aging bodies and lack of productivity.

Mechelle was chatting:

Dennis (Cerritos, CA): can we end this failed experiment already? People could care less about professional women’s basketball! Just look at the attendance of the games. Who actually attends these games are Boys & Girls clubs members who were handed down those tickets as some corporate gift. Only through politically correctness has this sport been force fed down our throats all the while we’re ignoring the obvious. No on watches these games whether it be on TV or in person. Women’s groups are extorting NBA owners to fund this failure or be called corporate sexist chauvenists. Who are they kidding when they bragged a few years ago about the WNBA making it 10 years. Fact is, it hasn’t “made it,” it was dragged to the finish line by the NBA owners and corporations held at gunpoint to sponsor this game. If someone out there reading this thinks I’m just being a hater and is anti-woman, please provide the ratings of a WNBA game. Now grab those ratings and compare it to what it costs to televise, operate and present a game and the ROI is simply not there. This lockout the NBA is having because the owners are claiming they’re losing millions of dollars, I bet if you look at the books, plenty of those millions lost is in funding the WNBA, but you probably will never hear that in the media. I have an open mind so if you think I’m wrong, back it up with hard numbers and I’ll change my mind. But something tells me that those numbers don’t exist.

Mechelle Voepel  (3:11 PM): OK, I went ahead and posted this, even though I really don’t have time to refute everything Dennis has in his rant. Much has been written about the fact that the average salary for one player in the NBA is far greater than the salary cap for a whole team in the WNBA. Anyone who thinks the WNBA’s expenses have anything to do with this lockout must have flunked economics class worse than I did.

But here’s another thing I want to say to Dennis and others like him. First, don’t go off on an angry, stereotypical rant about the WNBA, and political correctness and these nebulous “women’s groups” that are forcing the sport down your throat … and then end by saying you have an open mind. You don’t in any way have an open mind. Women’s sports threatens you, and you’re ticked off over who knows what, so you come to a chat about women’s basketball for people who DO care about it (who you claim don’t exist) and bash it. Feel better? Also, can you please tell me where I can find one of these powerful “women’s groups” who are controlling the NBA owners and scaring them to death by threatening to call them chauvinists? I’d love to interview the women in such a group and ask them why they are not using all their power over the NBA owners to even greater advantage. Because I’d like a team in Kansas City. Apparently all I have to do is scream about political correctness, and they’ll be so afraid they’ll do exactly what I want. Why haven’t I tried that? Don’t worry, Dennis, it’s almost football season.

When’s Mechelle’s not kickin’ butt and takin’ names, she’s also writing about San Antonio: Silver Stars ready for the spotlight – Hosting All-Star Game is another highlight in a great season so far for San Antonio

If you had suggested to a WNBA fan a decade ago that San Antonio would be a great place to have the All-Star Game and a 15th-season celebration someday, you would have gotten a puzzled stare. There was no WNBA franchise in the Alamo City at that time.

If you’d asked guard Becky Hammon in the spring of 1999 whether she thought she was good enough to play in the WNBA, she’d have given you the same answer Danielle Adams would have in 2011: Yes, absolutely. But if you were to ask Hammon now whether she had any idea what her pro career would really be like, she’d say, “It’s crazy. I feel so fortunate. I had no idea the things that were in store for me.”

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