Thursday, June 25, 2009
Behind The Scoreboard
WNBA season underway
Maybe it is because we sports fans don’t transition as smoothly as we should, going from one sports season to another. And, actually, that is not a really bad thing. It always happens right after the “big boys of spring” retire their jerseys (and bodies), waiting for a new season, someone always asks, “Has the WNBA started?”
Sometimes it takes a little while for yours truly to assure himself that the girls’ season is indeed underway. And it is up and running as of June 6. Going into Sunday’s slate of games, most teams had played at least five, some six and one team seven.
Speculation was already rolling healthily along about who would dethrone the Detroit Shock, winners of it all in 2008. Detroit bested the San Antonio Silver Stars with a three-game sweep in the finals. The Silver Stars, carrying the best record of the WNBA (24-10), turned in their best season since moving from Utah five years before.
The leader of the Shock, Bill Laimbeer, is one of the most successful coaches of the league. Laimbeer has a coaching record of 136-90 and keeps company with Dan Hughes of the Silver Stars whose mark is 140-146 and Michael Cooper of the Los Angeles Sparks whose mantle is the best at 146-69.
At this short juncture, the Shock is near the cellar of the Eastern Conference, recording just one win going into Sunday. The veiled rumor is that Coach Laimbeer is shopping himself for a career in the NBA. Hang on Bill; there’s bound to be an opening or two.
While waiting to see which team will go all the way, one we won’t be seeing is the Houston Comets. The Comets folded after last season when the league couldn’t locate new owners. Houston, a charter member, won the first four championships under former Ole Miss coach Van Chancellor.
A handful of soothsayers are indicating that the banner is going back to the Sparks. They picked up Tina Thompson from Houston which gives them a total of four Olympians. Thompson joins Lisa Leslie (who vows that she is retiring after this season), Candace Parker and DeLisha Milton-Jones. At present the Sparks aren’t creating many. They are near the bottom in the Western.
It could be wishful thinking, craziness or just plain stupidity, but I give the Chicago Sky a shot. They finished fifth last season in the East with a 12-22 record. Their coach (Steven Key) is in his second season, interested and energetic. Plus, one of his star players is the Rookie of the Year in 2007, former star at Myrtle and Ole Miss. And if that isn’t enough, Armintie Price is a distant cousin.
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