Chicago Sky center Sylvia Fowles and Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi led the voting for 2013 All-WNBA First-Team, the WNBA announced today. Fowles was the leading vote-getter (167 points), followed by Taurasi (162), who earned a record-tying eighth First Team nod.
Brittney Griner, welcome to stardom – well, the WNBA version at least.
Everyone has predicted it throughout the year, and with one turnaround baseline jumper, over two-time MVP Candace Parker mind you, the WNBA and world have officially added the stamp of approval that Brittney Griner is a star no matter what level she’s playing at.
The Los Angeles Sparks versus the Phoenix Mercury.
So many superstars, so much anticipation.
Even the world’s highest paid athlete, Floyd "Money" Mayweather, was in the house. With Sparks’ great Candace Parker winning the MVP award and leading L.A. to a great season, most people thought the Sparks would beat the underperforming 2013 Phoenix Mercury – but as you may have heard, "That’s why they play the game."
It comes down to this: Did Phoenix have time to put the pieces of the puzzle together despite the injuries and the coaching change?
If so, the Mercury have lots of weapons, and enough firepower to give anyone trouble. The timetable, though, was a little rushed, and if the team hasn’t completely gelled, it could be a rough postseason ride -- as was indicated in the 89-55 pounding the Mercury took by the Sparks to close the season on Sunday.
So with the playoffs set, and just some possible shifting around in the final order of the standings, there’s nothing much to get excited about in the West, right?
Well, if you ignore Riquna Williams and her 51-point, record-setting explosion against San Antonio, then you’re absolutely correct. But just cue up Live Access on wnba.com and take a look at a truly amazing, Kobe-like performance that capped a very interesting Western Conference season.
Here’s a look at the West as the season winds down …
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.
As usual, the Western Conference is loaded with championship contenders. After all, the Western Conference has won 12 of the 16 WNBA titles, so 2013 isn’t out of the ordinary.
Sorry Eastern Conference, it’s just the truth. (Thank God for Bill Laimbeer and his Detroit Shock or it would be even worse.) Yes, there’s a train building up steam in Atlanta that may help the Eastern Conference’s woes – but it’s only July. The Western Conference hasn’t won all of those championships by accident, and the top three teams are loaded with talent again.
Was Skylar Diggins overrated? Is Elena Delle Donne a big-time star in the making? Is Brittney Griner really all that and a handful of dunks?
Part of the fun of sports is matching our expectations with actual performance, and so we want to make comparisons as quickly as possible – but in reality, it takes much more than a few games to judge a player. In fact, since athletes in general peak at age 27, it really makes sense to take some time before settling into a conclusion.