Nov. 11, 2016
WNBA Finals What We Learned in Game 5!
We learned that is was definitely the Los Angeles Spark's "Time to Rise". The Sparks bounced back from a crushing defeat on their home court in game 4 of the WNBA Finals to beat the Minnesota Lynx 77-76. Candace Parker won her first WNBA championship in one of the most memorable games in not only franchise history but WNBA history. Parker scored 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in a Game 5 victory. She also had the help of WNBA, MVP Nneke Ogwumike's, game winning put back which sealed the deal for the Los Angeles Sparks as they clinched their franchise's 3rd WNBA championship.
The Sparks did a great job weathering the storm. We all knew the Minnesota Lynx would play well at home in front of a sold out crowd and make runs where it seemed like Maya Moore would never miss. The Sparks managed to stay in the game with the help of their unsung heroes Alana Beard, Chelsea Gray and Kristi Toliver. The fact that Beard was being a pest on defense, Toliver was still able to hit an incredible shot, and Gray was coming in attacking offensively is also a big reason that LA is now the reigning champions. Candace Parker and Nneke Ogwumike have finally proven to themselves and to the world that they can be a perfect and lethal combination. We also learned that the the guards may have to take a back seat to the post players, because this duo has brought the post game back.
Magic Johnson partnered with Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter and others to save the struggling Sparks last year and wanted not only to save the club, but also win a championship. Magic in his second year as part owner has his 1st WNBA championship to add to his 5 NBA championships. Magic also inspired the ladies before Game 5 by telling them how he and his Lakers beat the Boston Celtics on their home court in 1985 in a game 7. He wanted them to know they could do the same thing against Minnesota. Magic also probably mentioned the painful memories that they had from losing to the Celtics the year before. The similar painful memories that the Sparks were motivated by all season in last year's WNBA semifinals debacle.
Brian Agler is known for getting championships out of his star players. He did is with Katie Smith in the ABL with the Columbus Quest, Lauren Jackson Seattle Storm and now with the Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks. He's was brought to the Sparks to win a championship and he has delivered. Congrats to Brian for winning his 2nd title against a team he was a former general manager and coach at one point during his career. Brian Agler is one of the greatest coaches in the women's game and is still adding to his resume.
Everyone knows the Minnesota Lynx have set the bar for other WNBA teams. They make each team elevate their games, staff, fan base and organizations. Congratulations to the Lynx for continuing a standard of excellence that the now defunct Houston Comets started and the Detroit Shock followed suit in. We learned again that Coach Cheryl Reeves is a brilliant coach and her brash consistency with the refs will continue after the questionable calls made during the WNBA season and Finals. We learned that Maya Moore is a prolific scorer and when she is on, it's amazing to watch. We learned that Sylvia Fowles dominates the paint and Seimone Augustus isn't going anywhere. We learned that the LA Sparks may have had a little help with this one and that Minnesota will be back for more.
The National Basketball Retired Player's Association wanted to make sure to spend a special shout out to Penny Toler. She's a "Penny" that shines bright. As a reminder Penny was the 1st player to score 2pts in the WNBA"s inaugural game in 1997. She was the 1st player to transition from the WNBA player to WNBA general manager. Penny also helped construct a team that dethroned the 4x Houston Comets. So I would like to say salute to the Legend, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Sparks on her 3rd WNBA championship. Penny Toler is the epitome of what the NBRPA wants for all former players, an opportunity to excel in post career transition and recognize them for all they have given to the game.
The WNBA 20th season started out with a bang as Diana Taurasi returned to action. The top 20 Legends were honored and WNBA President Lisa Borders took over. The 2016 WNBA Finals exemplified the type of play that the best female basketball players in the world provide for entertainment and this league should not continue to be overlooked. In 1997 "We Got Next" then it was Join In , then it was We Got Game and this year it was Watch Me Work! Hopefully Lisa Borders will close the bell on the taglines because we are here and when we are given the opportunity we shine. It's time for everyone else to stop with the hate and fall in line.
Hi Everyone, thanks for reading the blog and before I end this blog I would like to encourage each of you to click on the photo and donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund #pink4kay. This is a campaign that we've started in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Your donation supports a great cause and also enters your name for free giveaways. It's really surreal that after playing for the late Coach Kay Yow at NC State that I'm working for her charitable organization. Help me honor her legacy and continue the success of the Fund in the fight against all women's cancers. For more info follow the @kayyowfund or visit kayyow.com. Click on the photo for more info on BCAM.