Announcing ‘The W25’ and Determining the WNBA’s All-time GOAT

Announcing ‘The W25’ and Determining the WNBA’s All-time GOAT

By Tamryn Spruill In celebrating the WNBA's 25th season, the league on Sunday (Sept. 5) revealed during halftime of the hotly-awaited matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and the Chicago Sky (ABC) "The W25" -- or the 25 best players in the league's storied history. The depths of talent across the league's quarter-century history made choosing the top 25 players a difficult task. To make it easier, the league compiled a list of athletes who played at least two seasons in the WNBA and met at least four of seven criteria. From that list of 72 candidates, the WNBA employed the help of voters from the world of women's hoops, including players and media members, who were instructed to shave the list to 25. The league tallied the numbers on the Official "W25" Ballot to reveal the top 25 players in league history. Tamika Catchings, the WNBA's all-time leader in steals (with no former or current player in the stratosphere of her 1,074 steals) and vice president/general manager of the Indiana...

Digging into USA Basketball’s and the WNBA’s Blind Loyalty to a Bird and a Bull

Digging into USA Basketball’s and the WNBA’s Blind Loyalty to a Bird and a Bull

By Tamryn Spruill USA Basketball’s announcement of the roster heading to the Tokyo Olympics next month set off a firestorm on social media and beyond about decisions many consider to be dripping in favoritism towards players who came out of the Geno Auriemma’s Connecticut program; Auriemma served as head coach of the USA Basketball women’s national team until 2018, when Dawn Staley took over. And now, with Sue Bird, 40, and Diana Taurasi, 39, chasing their fifth gold medals dating back to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, USA Basketball and the WNBA are eagerly pushing this narrative while choosing to gloss over the facts of: a) Bird’s and Taurasi’s beat-up, aging bodies and the liabilities they potentially pose for Team USA’s quest for a seventh consecutive gold medal and b) the players not named Bird and Taurasi who yet again have been edged out of an opportunity to represent the U.S. on the world stage. The complaints are not just about age. Sylvia Fowles, for example, is 35 and playing...

Black Women in the WNBA Know No Bounds When It Comes to Pursuing Financial Wellness

Black Women in the WNBA Know No Bounds When It Comes to Pursuing Financial Wellness

By Evan Cooper Like many exceptional Black women, Candace Parker has her hands in many pots. Most recently, she sat down with Trevor Noah for a virtual discussion of her many endeavors, including her latest: “Moments with Candace Parker,” a parenting-focused podcast. But Parker is not alone.  Many WNBA players opt to pursue an array of entrepreneurial endeavors in addition to being full-time athletes performing at the highest level. Renee Montgomery easily transitioned into sports broadcasting during her career; after retiring, she bought an ownership stake in the Atlanta Dream and is now the team’s vice president.  The Los Angeles Sparks’ Chiney Ogwumike is the first Black woman and WNBA player to host a nationally broadcasted ESPN radio show, and she produced the critically acclaimed “144,” a documentary that follows the WNBA’s 2020 bubble season that took place during a global pandemic and a national reckoning on racism and police violence. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Angel...

Seimone Augustus Deserved the Honor of Retiring a Lynx

Seimone Augustus Deserved the Honor of Retiring a Lynx

“Minnesota knows that they have a piece of my heart,” Seimone Augustus said, a tapestry featuring the logo of the Los Angeles Sparks undulating gently behind her. It was late into last week’s retirement press conference when a question by Charles Hallman, a longtime reporter for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, brought her to tears. Six days before, Augustus -- the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 draft, a four-time champion with the Minnesota Lynx, an eight-time All-Star and top-10 all-time WNBA scorer -- announced her retirement, for reasons familiar to any athlete lucky enough to experience career longevity: the body. To prepare for training camp in her second season in L.A., Augustus worked with a trainer on cardio and conditioning. Asked to run 48 sprints, the Baton Rouge, La. native obliged, but not because it was easy. “My ego got me through the 48 sprints,” Augustus said. “But then when I got to my car, I couldn’t even crank my car because I was just, like, exhausted. I was...

WNBA Players React to the Biden-Harris Victory

WNBA Players React to the Biden-Harris Victory

By Tamryn Spruill On Saturday, and four days after Election Day on Nov. 3, major news outlets declared Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris the winner of the 2020 presidential race. Biden and Harris were declared victorious after winning Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, which put them at 279 of the 270 votes needed to win the presidency. Incumbent Donald Trump, nearing the end of a volatile, destructive, tantrum-filled four years in the Oval Office, is the clear loser, with 214 electoral college votes. Unlike the champion athletes he has publicly degraded and denied celebratory visits to the White House -- athletes who most often practice good sportsmanship after a loss, and even shake the hands of the victors before leaving the court -- Trump has refused to concede. But that hasn't stopped these same athletes from reveling in the Biden-Harris victory or sharing their feelings about it. Here's a roundup from around the WNBA: For Natasha Cloud, a 2019 champion with the Washington...