Whodathought, before I even got a chance to blog about it, that the San Antonio Spurs hiring of Becky Hammon to be an assistant to Greg Popovich,would not be the biggest news out of the WNBA this summer?
Nor is the big story, much to the chagrin of Cardinal fans, the emergence of Shoni Schimmel as the leagues most popular player.
No, it’s this.
Love among rivals is afoot in the WNBA.
Brittney Griner is engaged. And it’s not to Anthony Davis, former UK and now New Orleans Pelican star. Though rumor of their engagement buzzed through social media awhile back. With a half life of, oh, 13 minutes 42 seconds.
Seems as if Griner, the former college POY at Baylor, now pivot person for the Phoenix Mercury, is engaged to Glory Johnson. Who happens to play forward for the aptly named Tulsa Shock. They’ve been GF and GF for a robust 2 months +.
So, I believe it’s fair to say this is a first. I daresay, unless some left wing in the Berzerkistan Professional Hockey Association (BPHA), let’s say Igor Shlobovszrskz, had a relationship with the goalie Milos Rachsimofzrysqsk of the rival Helshmuntz Gophers, this has never happened before in professional sports.
Or, college. Or Little League for that matter, even though the big star of this season’s LLWS is, you know, a girl from Philly.
While it’s possible that there has been an engagement in, say, the ECCCC (Eastern Canada Coed Curling Confederation), I’ve not heard of it.
Anyway, all the best to the soon to be newlyweds. Wonder if they’re still going to play for rivals? Or, will one be traded to the other’s team? Or retire altogether?
Which brings us to the more basketball oriented matter of Becky Hammon getting a full time job as an assistant for the world champion San Antonio Spurs.1
I’m assuming Bernadette Maddox is smiling. She sat by Rick Pitino’s side during his stint at Kentucky.
I know, for sure, one lady who is pleased as punch. That would be Jean Weinberg.
She was the coach of my 7th grade team. The Wasps. 1958 JCC D league champions.
Jean knew her hoops. And we thought nothing of the fact that we were coached by a woman. Other than she wasn’t present when we received our trophies at the annual Father & Son Banquet. Though the mention of her name and the joke about it brought a big laugh from the all male crowd.
* * * * *
LeBron James, if you haven’t heard, let me be the first to inform you, is taking his talents back home to Cleveland.
For which decision, and the manner in which he made and announced it, he is receiving as much praise as the derision he got when he flew off to Miami to win a couple of titles.
His move back home has stirred up all sorts of back to the roots conjecture around the league.
Kevin Durant, who grew up in D.C., is thought to be considering a jump to the Washington Wizards, when he becomes a free agent in OKC.
Stephon Curry, a North Carolinian at heart, to Charlotte.
Which got me to thinking. Why not bring back the old territorial draft, that was in effect in the NBA until 1966?
Then all the home boys could play at, you know, home.
Here’s how it worked back in the day. A team could forfeit its first round draft pick to choose any player within 50 miles of its home arena.
Temple’s Guy Rodgers thus was picked by the Philadelphia Warriors. UCLA’s Gail Goodrich by the LA Lakers. Oscar Robertson, a Cincinnati Bearcat, was harvested by the Cincy Royals. As was Jerry Lucas, who played at Ohio State.
Yes, the Buckeyes played in Columbus, Ohio, beyond that 50 mile radius. But Lucas was from Middletown, Ohio, where he prepped and Cincinnati was allowed leeway. Same with Wilt Chamberlain, a kid from Philly, who was grabbed by Philadelphia Warriors, when they convinced the league he was theirs because he balled for Overbrook HS.
The league is always looking for more ways to generate news, excitement and year round conjecture.
Reinstating the Territorial Draft would certainly do that.
— Seedy K