Championship teams are always idolized -- and multiple championships means talk of dynasties.
The rest? They are referred to, in varying degrees, as losers who can't get the job (here winning a WNBA championship) done. Particular scorn is reserved for the perennial runnerup, who is seen as defective or even accursed, even though that was the second-best team.
Before the playoffs began, Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve admitted to Full Court that she's a bit superstitious. After heading into last year's championships as the odds-on favorite to bring home the hardware, her Lynx fell short, falling to the underdog Indiana Fever in four games. So this year, said Reeves, she resolved not to do anything, including interviews and previews, that she did in the lead-up to last year's Finals.
The WNBA would have much preferred one of the Three to See, or Candace Parker and company, in the Finals. The league can certainly deal with Minnesota, with Maya Moore, Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, but 17-17 Atlanta, two-time losers in the Finals, isn’t exactly the dream opponent (sorry).
The positives are that the Dream love to run, so there should be lots of points, and Angel McCoughtry could melt down in SportsCenter-worthy fashion at any moment.
Editor's Note: Lin Dunn, head coach of the reigning WNBA champion Indiana Fever, Fever forward and 2011 WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings, and the Atlanta Dream's Angel McCoughtry, the league's leading scorer this season, took time out from practice Wednesday for a media teleconference to share their thoughts on their upcoming Eastern Conference Finals series, which tips off today in Atlanta's Phillips Arena at 7 p.m. EDT, airing on ESPN2. ESPN analysts Carolyn Peck and LaChina Robinson also weighed in. Here are some highlights from what they had to say.
The Washington Mystics woke up the Dream last night with a dominating win that not many expected. The Mystics showed what it looks like when a team comes out mentally focused and everyone, and I do mean everyone, plays aggressively and together. In fact, the Mystics were so dominant that this win was essentially in hand by the middle of the third quarter.
On paper, this series should be easy to call. Look at the Dream roster: It has more world class players and thus should be expected to win. However, the games are not played on paper and the subplots in this series could make it much more competitive and interesting than a casual fan might anticipate.
In spite of what pundits predict, the WNBA narrative often does not behave according to the script laid out for it.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Candace Parker came alive in the second half to rally the West to a 102-98 come-from-behind victory over the East and earn Most Valuable Player honors Saturday at the 2013 WNBA All-Star Game in Uncasville, Conn.
Seven more players will appear in their first-ever WNBA All-Star Game this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET, after the coaches' reserve selections were announced this evening.
Surprisingly, however, one of them will not be Twitter darling Skylar Diggins – the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, who not incidentally was one of the heavily promoted rookies heading into the season.