Around the league…

Lot’s of things going on around the league as of late…

First of all, this weekend the new (semi-new?) Tulsa franchise FINALLY revealed their name, logo and colors


Now THAT is a nice looking logo! I absolutely love the colors (that shade of red is one of my faves) and the logo is eye-catching and bold. Although some people did not like the idea of  Tulsa keeping the “Shock” moniker, I think it was a great move. The Detroit Shock has a long, storied and successful history in the WNBA. They have left their mark on the league with their 2 championships and “bad girl” style of play. By keeping the name, they are able to hang on to a lot of that history that may have disappeared otherwise. Sure, perhaps it makes it a little more difficult for DETROIT Shock fans to deal with, but honestly, wouldn’t you rather your team exist in some capacity than not exist at all? Wouldn’t you rather people remember the Shock than forget the Shock? Even if the make-up of the team is completely different in 2010, by keeping the Shock name (and similar logo) this truly feels like a relocation. Basically, although the Chicago/Detroit rivalry is perhaps gone forever within the WNBA, the Sky/Shock rivalry can live on…and that makes me happy.

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Speaking of nice logos, W.T.F. is this?!?!?…

Hopefully this is the just the preliminary sketch of the 2010 All-Star logo and not the final product!

Anyway, today it was announced that the 2010 All-Star game will be played in Connecticut (AGAIN!) on July 10th. Instead of East vs. West, this ASG will put Team USA vs. WNBA All-Stars…similar to what they did in 2004 prior to the Olympics in Greece (…the World Championships are in September).

First of all, I really like the Team USA vs. All-Stars format a lot. The game seems a little bit more meaningful than the basic East vs. West format (…even though it’s pretty much the same players). For starters, the All-star team is gonna be made up primarily of players that didn’t make the cut for Team USA (…along with Hammon, Penny and LJ, perhaps). This will fuel competitiveness. Secondly, the All-Stars are given the responsibility of helping their fellow Americans (…with the exception of LJ/Penny and, uh, Hammon) prepare to take on the rest of the world. That’s important.  In 2004, the All-Stars vs. Team USA game at Radio City was not very entertaining because the All-Stars were overmatched and couldn’t keep up with Team USA. Honestly, the league is deeper now and I think the All-Stars can/will give Team USA a good run.

Now let’s talk the location choice. To put it simply, I’m getting tired of all things “Connecticut” when it comes to women’s basketball. I’ve always liked the UConn Huskies (…still do), but I hate what they’ve done to women’s college basketball the last couple years. They’ve managed to drain all the fun and excitement from the game. I think the “Renee Montgomery-to-Connecticut Sun” hype is absolutely ridiculous (more on this in a minute…). I think it was ridiculous that there were like 50 current/former UConn Huskies in the USA Basketball training camp last fall. And now this…the 2010 ASG is gonna be held in Connecticut…AGAIN! It’s overkill. I realize that Connecticut is the women’s basketball mecca right now, but seriously…college basketball, WNBA basketball and Team USA basketball are all honed in on the “Nutmeg State” right now. ENOUGH! Needless to say, women’s basketball needs to branch out a little bit…

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I’m a little late with this, but a couple weeks ago Lindsey Whalen and the #2 pick in the 2010 draft were traded to the Minnesota Lynx for Renee Montgomery and the #1 pick in the 2010 draft. This trade is beneficial for both teams, but the Lynx are clearly the winner (..unless, of course, this trade was really about the Sun getting in the best position to draft getting Maya Moore in 2011). I mean, c’mon, Whalen for Montgomery? Are you serious?!? Yes, I realize that, for the Sun, this trade was probably more about Tina Charles than it was about Renee Montgomery, but it was still  a bad trade talent-wise for Conn. I mean, let’s say with the #1 pick the Sun choose Charles (duh!) and with the #2 pick the Lynx choose Jayne Appel. Is anyone convinced that the difference between the skill/talent level of Charles over Appel is gonna balance out the lopsidedness of  the skill/talent of  Whalen over Montgomery? Not a chance. I’m not even fully convinced that Charles is gonna be a better pro than Appel. Charles has athleticism and a fast improving post game, but Appel has court vision, superior passing ability, is a natural banger in the post and can score in many more ways than Charles. In my opinion, Charles reminds me of Sylvia Fowles — an athletic big with no range.  When was the last time that type of player has dominated the league?  Outside of Lisa Leslie, what other centers have really come up big in leading their teams? Guards, yes. Forwards, yes. But centers? No. The fact is, the PG position is one of the most difficult spots to fill in this league while, at the same time, being the the most important. There are so few good PG’s in the W (…or coming up thru the college ranks) that teams really should hang on to the good/great ones that they have. I’m not gonna go so far as to say that the Sun went all “Ketia Swanier” again with this Montgomery thing, but it’s close. I like Montgomery (ok, “liked”…I’m not really a fan anymore — I’ve OD’d on some of the annoying UConn peeps) but damn, she’s no Lindsey Whalen. I’m gonna guess that the Sun are gonna desperately try to sign either Kara Lawson or Ticha Penichiero because, if not, they are gonna get Maya Moore in 2011 (…which is probably the plan anyway). As cool as it is to bring/keep the UConn kids home, I think Sun fans will sour on this trade pretty quickly once the novelty of it wears off. Homerism at its finest!

Now, let’s talk about Minny. Sure, this was a “homer” trade for them too…but it was a homer trade that makes sense AND makes them infinitely better. Lindsey Whalen has been one of my favorite players in the league since the day she was drafted (…actually since her U of Minnesota days). In my opinion, she is the best PG in the WNBA. Whalen was the only reason I ever watched or liked the Connecticut Sun so now, thankfully, I can just kind of ignore them. While out in New England, Whalen played alongside the most obscure roster of players that I have ever seen. Yes, Conn struggled in in 2009, but Whalen was able to carry a haphazard and unknown group of ballers for several years beforehand. Whalen kept the Sun at the top of the eastern conference thru the defections of Sales, Douglas and Taj. Whalen continued to ball out with the likes of Amber Holt, Kerri Gardin, Sandrine Gruda, Anete Jakabsone-Zogota, Asjha Jones and Erin Phillips — great players, but not necessarily household names (…alright, Jones is an all-star and a heckuva baller, but you get the point, right?). Now, in 2010, Whalen is going to be running the floor with Candice Wiggins, Seimone Augustus, Charde Houston, Nicky Anosike, Rebekkah Brunson and whoever the #2 pick in the draft ends up being? Are you serious?!? That’s gonna be unreal! Outside of Phoenix (…and my beloved Chicago Sky, of course) the Lynx are going to be the “funnest” team in the league to watch, no doubt. All they’ve really needed for the last couple years was a decent PG to bring it all together. Now they’ve got one of the best. Road trip to Minny…who’s coming with me!!!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

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~ by audsquad on January 27, 2010.

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