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...

Review: Chiney Ogwumike’s “144” is a revolutionary work of journalistic art

Review: Chiney Ogwumike’s “144” is a revolutionary work of journalistic art

By Tamryn Spruill Tealight candles flicker dragonfly-like light in the Florida night sky, the plastic cups holding them clink gentle, yet somber hellos. It is Aug. 26, 2020, three days after a police officer in Wisconsin emptied seven bullets into the back of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old African-American man, leaving him without his colon or small intestines and paralyzed from the waist down. “Of course, today’s been quite an eventful day,” WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike said before a crowd of her peers. As she spoke, the players, donning masks that left uncovered only their sober eyes, accepted candles one-by-one. “This moment is a reminder of the non-negotiables that we had going into the season.” The 144 players of the WNBA had arrived to the IMG Academy campus in Bradenton, Fla., months before, for a pandemic-condensed and -shortened season — unsure they could be kept safe inside the environment that would come to be known as the “wubble.” Yet, the season had played out inside...

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...