Guest Post: Delisha Milton-Jones
Thoughts on the WNBA’s 15th season.
Though she is too modest and humble to say it, Delisha Milton-Jones is a living legend in the WNBA; two Olympic gold medals, two WNBA Championships, 11th all-time in scoring, 11th all-time in rebounds, sixth all-time in steals, and eighth all-time in minutes played are phenomenal accomplishments, especially considering she is fully capable of playing another five-to-eight years if she wants to. An extremely versatile player on both ends of the court, Milton-Jones shares with us her excitement for the WNBA players return back home to America, the talented 2011 rookie class, and her thoughts on the WNBA’s 15th season. Make sure to hit her up on Twitter and leave her a comment below. —Ben Y.
by Delisha Milton-Jones / @DelishaMJones
First and foremost, I would like to thank SLAM for the honor and invitation to post a blog. Anyone in the sports world knows that once you’ve made SLAM, you truly made it. Also, mad love to Ben York for his passion of life, sports and of course the WNBA; we need more people like him and Stephen Litel who support our league with the same passion you have for the NBA. We are forever grateful to the both of you.
This time of year, the ‘Great Migration’ back west slowly takes place for us WNBA players. Many players are finally packing their bags and booking their flights back to America (happily and eagerly) from playing overseas for the past seven months. I know it might sound funny but, over the years, I have come to compare WNBA players heading overseas and returning home to wildebeests on the National Geographic channel, lol. Stay with me!
WNBA players kind of go on a migration every year. After the season ends, we hop on a plane and head overseas to play. Right before the season starts, we “migrate” back to America. Wildebeests travel thousands of miles across the wilderness, land, and sea to get home. So do we. Just like wildebeests encounter many setbacks and hurdles, so the players of the WNBA in the form of airports, delays, cancellations, and a ton of excess baggage fees. And once they arrive at their destination, the excitement begins.
As we all witnessed during the 2011 WNBA Draft, the anticipation of this upcoming season is at an all-time high. The star power of this draft class is shining brighter than ever and the parity of the league has improved drastically as a result of it. What a difference 15 years can make! This league has come from barely being known and to being a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. We were also the punch line to many celebrity/rappers jokes and lyrics but now we are being befriended by celebrities/rappers. (#Ballin — Jim Jones voice, lol.)
A couple quotes that will circulate around the league this year will be “I feel like this is our year” or “I feel something special about this team.” While it may seem tired, I think every team has a valid reason behind feeling this way. In my opinion, every team improved their rosters whether through depth or by specific positions. The team that celebrated Christmas in April was the Minnesota Lynx. Wow, what a great draft for them! But, don’t sleep on the Atlanta Dream because they’ve somehow gotten even bigger and that’s just down right ridiculous, lol. My sleeper team for this year is the Washington Mystics and I think the Tulsa Shock will be much better. Seattle has become stronger but so have MY LA SPARKS! No predictions for the new champs yet, but I have one team in mind that I’d love to see raise a banner… #LASparks #justsaying.
How cool would it be if Lisa Leslie-Lockwood and Cynthia Cooper were still playing; wouldn’t it be rather fitting with the 15th Anniversary to have pioneers of the league on the court at the same time with the future stars of the league (Candace Parker-Williams and Maya Moore)? What a gift that would’ve been. Imagine the oohs and ahhs to be heard on both ends of the court – old school moves vs. new school style. Gotta love it. I am just so excited about the 2011 season. I might be jumping the gun, but I’m predicting a new record set for in-game attendance this summer. I think it is very possible.
With the NBA and the NFL both talking about lockouts, right now the WNBA is the hottest ticket in town. We are here and ready to play people! So, please go and get your season tickets and help us in celebrating the fruition of the vision that David Stern had 15 years ago.
Let’s make it 15 more….
Don’t be someone else’s best; be your best!!