Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why The WNBA Stays Losing: Exhibits A & B

Exhibit A: A few weeks ago, I talked about the WNBA's issues with traction and how one Candace Parker might be the league's ponytailed savior.

Uhhh, yeah, so much for that one.

Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker are the only players to have dunked in a WNBA game.

On Tuesday night, they were involved in a skirmish — another occurrence more frequently connected with the men's game — at, of all places, The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Parker was one of three players ejected, along with Detroit assistant coach Rick Mahorn, after the scuffle with 4.6 seconds left in the Los Angeles Sparks' 84-81 victory over the Shock. The melee started moments after Parker and Detroit's Cheryl Ford had to be separated after Ford fouled Parker.

On the next possession, Parker got tangled up with Detroit's Plenette Pierson and fell to the ground. As Parker was getting up, Pierson hovered over the Sparks' rookie, who pulled her to the ground.

Not only was this the site of the ugly Pacers-Pistons brawl in 2004 that involved fans, Mahorn also was involved in that melee. He was then a Detroit broadcaster and went into the crowd to try to pull Indiana's Ron Artest away from fans.

"I was trying to protect the whole game, the integrity of the game," Mahorn said of Tuesday's ejection. "The WNBA is very special to me ... I would never push a woman. This game, I love this game too much."
Whether intentional or not, Mahorn was outta line for pushing a woman. No way to spin that one, buddy. In a league obsessed with peddling Girl Power, there's no way video of a woman being shoved to the ground is gonna be taken in context. Period.

Rick Mahorn, prepare to fall on the sword.

Exhibit B: On a separate note, the league is so pressed for attention that they not only played a game outdoors the other night, but now they're pulling a 50 year old out of retirement to suit up for the injury ravaged Detroit Shock.

No, seriously, somebody's grandma is about to (wo)man the post.
The Detroit Shock have signed Nancy Lieberman to a 7-day contract according to an ESPN report. The 50-year-old Lieberman will break her own record for being the oldest player in the WNBA.

Lieberman, a Hall of Famer since 1999 and currently an ESPN broadcaster, was 39-years-old when she played with Phoenix during the league's first year in 1997.

The Shock lost Cheryl Ford when she tore her ACL Tuesday night during the brawl between her team and the Los Angeles Sparks. Later today the other suspensions will be announced for both teams.
Enough alrady.

Maybe the NBA should go ahead and end this experiment while they're still ahead.

Question: For how many games should Mahorn be suspended? Do you think he intended to push Lisa Leslie or was he having a Bad Boys flashback? Is the signing of a 50 year old woman the ultimate "me too" publicity stunt or have you seen worse?

Mahorn: Peacekeeper or pusher in WNBA fight? [USAToday]

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