Candice Dupree traded to the Phoenix Mercury

DAMMIT!!!! The rumors were true. It’s semi-official now…

The league champion Mercury have a deal in place to send All-Star guard [Cappie Pondexter] to New York for Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld, according to a person familiar with the trade. Christon and Kraayeveld will be shipped to Chicago for All-Star Candice Dupree.

Basically, the trade works out like this…
Candice Dupree to Phoenix
Cappie Pondexter and Kelly Mazzante to New York
Shameka Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld to Chicago

Candice Dupree has been the face of the Sky since the inaugural season in 2006. She has been our best and most popular player from the beginning. So, why did the Sky trade their franchise player? Well, according to “rumors” it was Dupree who didn’t want to play for Chicago anymore and demanded a trade. I guess we have no way of knowing if this is true, but seriously, it’s the only thing that makes sense. There’s no way the Chicago Sky just decided one day that it was in their best interest to trade Candice Dupree. Dupree wanted out of Chicago. As a Sky fan and a Candice Dupree fan, this leaves me a little conflicted…

Later, yo...

On one hand: Dupree basically gave us the one-fingered salute and rolled-out to greener pastures (otherwise known as the defending-champion Phoenix Mercury) without warning or any indication that she didn’t like playing here. As a fan, that hurts. In a sense, Cappie kinda/sorta bailed on Phoenix…but her situation is very different than Dupree’s situation. There were financial reasons (lowered salary cap) and possibly business reasons (it’s, uh, NYC!) why Cappie left the Mercury. It seems as if Dupree left the Sky simply because she didn’t like us. It definitely wasn’t about the money (Chicago has the cap room to max her out) and it wasn’t because she wanted to play closer to home (she’s from Florida, not the desert). And I doubt she’s got some un-dying love for the city of Phoenix or for the Mercury.  Who knows whether it was the organization, team, coach, city or fans that Dupree disliked…regardless, it hurts like hell knowing that a player that you like so much has probably never really liked you back. Was Dupree ever happy in Chicago or has she hated us this entire four years? Has she simply been waiting for an opportunity to bail since day one? Is this whole thing simply because we didn’t make the playoffs last year? If we woulda won that last freakin’ game against Detroit, would Candice Dupree be suiting up for us in 2010? Who knows!?! All I know is that Dupree straight up bounced on us and I feel like I should be angry about that.

On the other hand: How do you get angry at a player that valiantly carried your team for four years through a myriad of ups and downs? A player that never missed a game. A player that you could always count on to give her all on every play. A player that worked hard every offseason to add something new to her repertoire every year. A player that is a 3-time all-star and a future Olympian. A player that never complained or took days off. A player that, although she didn’t like it here, still played hard every night and never let her displeasure or unhappiness show. A player that is an absolute joy to watch play the game. A player that has been a consummate professional through all kinds of adversity.  It’s impossible for me to feel anger toward said player…which is precisely why hurt and sadness are my predominant emotions right now 😦

So, what does this trade say about the Sky as a team and as a franchise? Sadly, it says a lot. Let’s be honest, Sky fans take a lot of crap from outsiders about how (1) our coach sucks, (2) our front office sucks, (3) our fanbase sucks, (4) our city sucks, (5) our arena sucks and (6) all of our players (except Sylvia Fowles) suck. In general, most WNBA fans look at the Sky as a joke — a pathetic, floundering franchise that will never get its act together. As Sky fans, we try to defend our team as much as possible. But, uh, we’re kinda indefensible now, right? Dupree demanding a one-way ticket out of town kinda proves our suckiness, doesn’t it? It proves that everything everyone has been saying about this team is probably correct — our fanbase does suck. Our front office is incompetent. Our coach is a moron. No one really wants to play here. Yeah, as a fan, that’s a tough realization to come to 😦

So, with Dupree gone, who becomes the “face of the Sky?” I don’t even want to think about this. It’s probably gonna be Fowles, right? At least until she gets injured. Wait, what’s that sound? Oh, it’s the Sky firing up the Courtney Paris hype machine. What about this #4 pick? Epiphany Prince? Sure, what the hell…let’s hype her too. I’m seeing a pattern here…does this mean Taurasi, Wiggins and Augustus are on the way? Nevermind.

What about these new ex-Liberty acquisitions? How do they fit in? Hmmm, good question, I dunno. And honestly, right now, I don’t care. I’m not even thinking about what they bring to this team because I’m too focused on what we lost. I don’t know a damn thing about Shameka Christon or Cathrine Kraayeveld. I mean, it’s gonna feel like a whole new team. I’m gonna look at this team in a couple months and be like “who the hell are these people?”

So, am I gonna follow my favorite player and become a huge Mercury fan now? Ummm, no. Obviously my feelings  may change once the emotions and shock of this trade wear off, but as of right now, I’m not even a Dupree fan. I’ll probably take these pics off my walls soon and put all four of my Dupree jerseys in a box somewhere. Like I said, I’m not angry and I more than appreciate everything she’s done for the Sky over the years, but, for some reason, I don’t feel any loyalty to her now that she’s gone. Sure, I want Dupree to do well in Phoenix and I want her to be happy in the desert, but this whole thing just makes me sad. It’s gonna be really, really tough to watch Dupree play in a Mercury jersey. Might as well just make a clean break, ya know? Sometimes, when a player leaves you can understand it and you will cheer like crazy for them when they come back because you know that them leaving was nothing personal (ex. Chasity Melvin). Dupree leaving us feels different. It feels personal. In other words, its hard to like a player that obviously doesn’t like “you.” Does that make sense? I dunno, maybe after this trade is truly official and the players make statements and stuff, this will feel different and perhaps I will feel different. Right now it just feels like Dupree gave us a big “F*CK YOU” and moved on.

How about my Sky fandom? Where do I stand with that? We’ll see. Like I said before, this feels like a completely new team all of a sudden. If I like ’em this summer, cool. If not, I move on. I’ll always be a Sky fan (just like I’ll always be a Bulls, Bears, Cubs etc. fan) but my level of fandom varies depending different factors. Maybe this year I go from being a Sky fanatic to just a Sky fan. I dunno.

Anyway, with that said, I’m in the market for (1) a new favorite Sky player, (2) a new favorite WNBA player and (3) a new favorite basketball player…cuz Dupree used to be all three. As of right now, I’m rollin’ with Shyra Ely as my favorite Sky player, Lindsey Whalen as my favorite WNBA player and Kevin Durant as my favorite overall basketball player. There will be no more jersey purchases for me and I won’t be getting attached to anymore players — ya’ll ain’t gonna be breakin’ my heart with this crap every year! No sireee!

Oh, and if I’m pissed at anyone about all of this, it’s the effin’ Phoenix Mercury and Cappie freakin’ Pondexter. I blame them wholeheartedly. If not for Cappie and this “trade-me-to-NY” crap, maybe this Dupree trade doesn’t happen. And why couldn’t the Mercury just trade directly with the Liberty…why drag us into their mess? I hope NY sucks this year then misses out on Maya Moore in the draft lottery. I hope Phoenix gets their asses kicked by the LA Sparks on the regular. Wow, did I just say something nice about the Sparks? These are some crazy times, yo.

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

** Disclaimer: After a full night of sleep and some time to take this all in, I may feel differently about all of this in the future. Right now I’m just a depressed, confused and hurt Sky fan that is trying to wrap my head around what just happened with our team. Be patient with me. Perhaps once I have some time to fully digest and process this information, I will write a more rational, objective and coherent blog about this same topic in the near future.


~ by audsquad on March 30, 2010.

10 Responses to “Candice Dupree traded to the Phoenix Mercury”

  1. It might take some time to adjust, and there will be a couple of games where you tear your hair out, but you’ll come to love Meka. Remember, she didn’t ask for this. Dupree asked, Pondexter asked, and even Cathrine signed an offer sheet (with Seattle, her hometown) last season, but Shameka didn’t. Please don’t make it harder on her than it already is.

    • I hear ya, Queenie. This post had nothing to do with Christon or Kraayeveld, so I hope it didn’t come across like I was hating on either of them. Sky fans love Candice Dupree and I think it might be tough for us to fully embrace her “replacements” right away. Personally, this trade doesn’t excite me at all, but I do hope Christon and Kraayeveld do well here.

  2. Candice would have been traded regardless of Cappie’s demand, because she had the same demand as Cappie, except with no specific destination.

    I like this trade for Chicago and Phoenix, not so much New York. Considering New York was the only team in this deal without a disgruntled star, I don’t see why the Liberty would part with an All-Star and borderline starting-caliber power forward, while picking up an awful contract, just to get Cappie (considering the Mercury’s situation, again).

    Christon is a great player and fills the starting small forward hole. Kray will be the starting power forward, and if Toliver starts, that means Chicago has four weapons from deep. If Fowles can finally put it together offensively — the post is completely clear now; it’s decision time for her — Chicago should be a playoff team, and I wouldn’t put making it to the Finals past the Sky.

    I think how deep the Sky go this year comes down to Toliver, Fowles, and Key.

  3. “I think how deep the Sky go this year comes down to Toliver, Fowles, and Key.”

    Then we’re screwed.

    I love Christon and I’m OK with Kraayveld, but I’m just not sure that they equal Dupree. And if this was a decision between Key and Dupree, we moved the wrong person

    • you always speak the truth, idchafee 😦

    • Christon = Dupree

      Over her career, no, Christon hasn’t been the force that Dupree’s been, but she’s been just as good over the past two. Kraayeveld is just icing on the cake.

  4. It’s very difficult to say why any player leaves: it could be a kajillion reasons. it could be the Sky organization, or it could be the coach or maybe she doesn’t get along with the players there, as you said. I don’t think it was, “boy, I really think those Sky fans suck and I’m going to give them the Dirty Bird”.

    Just remind yourself – sooner or later, it will pay off and the Chicago Sky will get its bragging rights and it will be some other team’s turn to be the lonely stepchild. (Just don’t let it be *my* team, plz.)

    • we have the lowest attendance in the league…it’s very possible that one of her reasons for wanting to get outta town was indeed because our fanbase sucks. I doubt thats the main reason, but its a very real possibility that it had something to do with it. I mean, c’mon, Sky fans DO suck compared to the X-Factor. We’re probably the suckiest fanbase in the league.

      Damn, Dupree’s rejection of this franchise has really got me messed up in the head. My self-esteem as a Sky fan has plummeted and I’m now wallowing in a bottomless pit of self-loathing 😦

      But I agree with you that the tides will turn for this team eventually. Heck, we might even be a better team this year because of this trade…but the fact remains: I loved the Dupree-led Sky and it hurts like hell that she so completely and blatantly rejected us (doesn’t matter whether “us” is coaches, teammates, front office or fans).

  5. […] what I said yesterday — Candice Dupree is still my favorite basketball player. I will watch as many Phoenix Mercury […]

  6. Make no mistake, Candice loved the fans of Chicago, the City of Chicago, her teammates, and would have loved to only have one team her entire career. If she asked out, trust it had nothing to do with the above mentioned. It might make better sense to look at how many coaches, how many teammates, no franchise tag before the deadline, etc… nothing to do with Chicago… 🙂

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