WNBA Mailbag: December 2, 2010
On rants and randomness.
By Ben York / @bjyork
Has it only been five months since our last mailbag? I say that somewhat facetiously but judging by the amount of unanswered emails I have in my inbox, I honestly thought it had been longer.
The majority of emails I receive are typically in reference to my support of women’s basketball and the WNBA in general. Since I’ve answered those questions ad nauseum, I’ve only included a couple of the more “colorful” ones in this edition. We’ll also talk at length about SLAMonline’s Top 20 series, projections for next year, and spend some time responding to a rant that is fraught with hilarity.
Enjoy. – BY
Q: Will you be doing more stuff with WNBA.com? – Erica, Orlando
A: Yes. We have a podcast every week that covers the Top 20 series and other random topics. I’m certainly not in the same category as SLAM’s Lang Whitaker on the NBA side, but I love doing it and hopefully fans of the league have enjoyed it.
I’ll likely be doing some more “Fan Stories” like this one too.
Q: Loved your chat with the Lynx! – Bill, Minnesota
A: Thank you, Bill. They have a great organization there with people who just get it. We’ll definitely do more live chats in the future so keep your eyes and ears out.
Q: Hi, Ben. I hope this fins [sic] you well. Do you keep in touch with any players when they go overseas? If so, who? – Ruth, Arizona
A: I try to, but I also don’t want to be “that guy” who ends up being more of a stalker than a friend. I like to give them their space but I do have a few players I consider friends who I am fortunate enough to keep in touch with. If I do get the chance to catch up, and it isn’t for an article specifically, we usually just do the typical “how are you’s?” and “how have thing’s been?” type of stuff.
I probably talk to Tamika Catchings, Cappie Pondexter, Ketia Swanier, Alana Beard, Tangela Smith, and Bridget Pettis the most. Diana Taurasi is usually off the grid completely when she is overseas so we don’t get to chat much.
Q: If you don’t have Lauren Jackson as #1 [on the Top 20] then you are dumb. Completely stupid. But I’ll wait to see what you have before I get pissed at you. – Yajaira, Seattle
A: Total shot in the dark here, but I’m guessing you’re a fan of LJ?
Q: Heard you are coaching with [former Phoenix Mercury player] Bridget Pettis? – Vanessa, Arizona
A: Yep! I’m helping Coach Pettis at Madison Park Middle School in Phoenix with their varsity girls team. Bridget is an amazing person and these girls have a fantastic opportunity to learn from a legend.
Q: Just wanted to tell you that I enjoy your coverage of the WNBA and women’s basketball and we appreciate it in spite of all the mean notes you probably get. – Jackson, Los Angeles
A: Thanks, Jackson. I appreciate that. And thanks for reading!
Q: Liz Cambage or Maya Moore? – Phil, Minnesota
A: Maya Moore, Maya Moore, Maya Moore – and that isn’t a knock on Cambage. Liz Cambage is going to be a heck of a basketball player, but Maya Moore can turn a team around for 10 years. Her name will be mentioned with the Parker’s, Taurasi’s, and Catchings’s (very similar game) in no time.
She is that good.
Q: Do you ever write anything different? Or abad [sic] about the Wnba? How about how the league has failed to make money? all it does is sap money away from the NBA. how about Marion Jones and steroids? this is a league that will and wont ever work in America. The article by Jeff Pearlman in sports illustrated said it perfectly and you’re arguement [sic] back to him was weeeeaaaak. I don’t have anything against the league or it’s players but the way you apologise [sic] for them is ridiculous. they play high school level ball and i guarantee the team i played on could have beat any of these teams. no disrespect though. – Jake, Grand Rapids
A: I’ve never had to type “[sic]” this much in a mailbag before…
I literally laughed out loud after reading your “no disrespect though” line. I give you props for being somewhat original, Jake. Still, your email is about the 3,598th of its kind that I’ve received over the past couple of years. This rant, however, does set itself apart from the others due to the (roughly) 47 contradictory statements you made. Hey, I love the game of basketball and it doesn’t matter to me who is playing. Millions of other people feel the same way.
By the way, your high school team would not have beaten a WNBA team. Sorry.
Also, the Connecticut Sun turned a profit last year. Just FYI.
Q: Are any other players going to blog for SLAMonline? – C.C., Connecticut
A: Yes. : ) Stay tuned…
Q: Do you expect their [sic] to be any more blockbuster trades like there was last year? – Christian, Dallas
A: There might be a couple but I would be really surprised if it matched the hype level of last year’s off-season. I would anticipate more of a splash to be made in free agency rather than trades. This year’s draft class should be fairly deep so team’s can address needs and/or weaknesses there in addition to trades or free agents. We’ll talk more about the draft and free agency in early 2011.
Q: I heard somewhere that you will be heading to Russia to cover players overseas is that true? – Monica R., Portland
A: Monica, that could be the most random thing I’ve ever heard. Not only am I not going to Russia (unless someone wants to buy a ticket for me) but I won’t be in Turkey. Or Spain. Or France. Or anywhere East of the Mississippi. I have absolutely no clue where a “rumor” like that would start. Or, perhaps more important, why.
Hmm. Would be cool to go though…