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The Minnesota Lynx defeated the Seattle Storm 58-55 in Game 2 of the first round of the 2013 WNBA Playoffs to return to the Western Conference Finals. And they did so in unsurprising fashion.
She may also be the Russian Basketball Federation's president as well according to an interview she had with championat.com. Read more on this blog post from Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register. Abrosimova is most famous for playing on UConn's teams from 1997-2001, and she was also a member of the Seattle Storm's 2010 championship team.
Yesterday, the Seattle Storm signed veteran center Ashley Robinson and waived Cierra Bravard to accommodate her.
Robinson was drafted 14th in the 2004 Draft to the Phoenix Mercury where she played in 2004 and 2005. She was selected in the Chicago Sky's expansion draft for the 2006 season and played there briefly until she was traded to the Storm where she played until the 2012 season. While in Seattle, Robinson was part of the 2010 championship team and played a good number of minutes in the 2011 season as a rebounding and defensive presence.
In 2012, Robinson was traded to the Washington Mystics where she shared starting duties with Michelle Snow, another acquired player for DC that year as part of a veteran movement to get the team back to the playoffs but the team was unsuccessful to say the least.
My belief is that Robinson's going to be the 11th man for the Storm and will see some spot up duty in mostly defensive situations, which is the role she more or less had during her first stint in the Emerald City. You just can't convince me that she's better than rookie forward Tianna Hawkins who needs more time to develop and she knows how to put the ball in the hoop. Also, Alysha Clark has been a very pleasant surprise and deservedly has rotation minutes.
In another form of mostly meaningless trivia, Robinson will be reunited with another member of the 2012 Mystics team with Noelle Quinn, who was a backup swingman on that team.
The Washington Mystics (6-6) were rattled by a furious comeback from the Seattle Storm (5-7) after leading by double digits most of the game but managed to pull off another close victory, winning 62-59. The Mystics now have surpassed last season's win total, and General Manager and Head Coach Mike Thibault now has 212 career wins, which is the most of all WNBA head coaches.
This is not a continuation or a rebuttal of Zack's preview, but it's something that has been brewing in my head for some time. Most people will look at a team's win and loss record and use that as a metric on how well the team is doing. But teams also need to look long term and know who they are winning with if they want to be long term contenders and have bright futures and that applies for both the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics who coincidentally play against each other later tonight in DC.
Six Shock Players, led by their rising star forward, Glory Johnson scored in double figures to lead Tulsa (3-7) to a big win over the Seatlle Storm (4-4).
Just the Facts, Ma'am: Four Storm players scored in double figures as Seattle notched a much-needed 78-66 win in Connecticut. Tina Thompson led the Storm with 17 points, with Shekinna Stricklen adding 16 off the bench and Camille Little just missing a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds. Allison Hightower's 17 points paced Connecticut, while Tina Charles had 15 points and a team-high six rebounds.
For parachutes, Freudian musical selections, scuffles, screens, picks, rolls, and missing a t-shirt by thiiiiiiiiiiiis much, join your intrepid and radioactive blogger after the jump.
Sooo it's OFFICIAL NOW! I am now the MTSU Women's 🏀 Assistant Coach! I'll be there after season! I am SO excited! This is such a blessing!!— Alysha Clark (@Alysha_Clark) June 6, 2013
Current second-year WNBA player, Alysha Clark, has been hired by Middle Tennessee State as assistant coach. Clark is currently playing for the Seattle Storm. Clark is the most prolific player to ever play at MTSU. During her time with the Lady Raiders, she was named an All-American and led the nation in scoring her junior and senior years.
The Sparks scored at least 25 points in each of the first three quarters of this game and shot 62% overall, and 75% from three (6-8 shots). The game was an even effort scoring wise with Kristi Toliver scoring 17 points. Lindsey Harding in her LA debut also had 8 assists with her 12 points. Rookie A'dia Mathies made two points in 11 minutes of action.
For the Storm, Tanisha Wright and Temeka Johnson had a combined 22 points and 10 assists but it wasn't enough. In terms of the rookie watch, Tianna Hawkins made her debut in green and gold where she scored 6 points and grabbed 3 boards in over 23 minutes.
With this game now in the record books, it kind of shows the talent disparity the Storm will have for much of this season but as we noted in our preview, it's not like missing the playoffs is a bad thing for them.
A statistical preview of the Seattle Storm based on the season preview framework described in our primer the other day. For those not interested in all these words, the tl;dr version is essentially the first section of 2012 review and the last section titled "key question". For more on the Storm's major offseason moves, check out our offseason storystream.
In Seattle, Tina Thompson and Camille Little led the Storm with 31 combined points to help the Storm to a victory. Thompson also made all three of her threes. Shekinna Stricklen played 34 minutes off the bench and had 9 points and 10 rebounds. Even though the Storm won this game, it needs to be noted that the team had nine assists and 18 turnovers, and made only 31% of its shots, so it was a bad performance even with Thompson having a near vintage performance.
For Tulsa, the Shock goes to 0-2 in preseason, and had an unacceptable performance from the free throw line AND from the three point line where the black and gold was 61.1% (11-18) and 9.5% (2-21) from those areas respectively. If the Shock made more of its free throws, it could have won this game perhaps. With the latter stat on threes, Riquna Williams attempted eight threes, and made only one, while Roneeka Hodges was almost as inefficient with one made three out of five attempts. Candice Wiggins was zero out of four from the three.... Skylar Diggins put out a bad performance only making two out of ten shots for four points and NO free throw attempts.. The only notable stat for her: FIVE TURNOVERS to two assists.....WOW.... Hopefully that was just another bad day at the office. The good news for the Shock is that Glory Johnson had 13 points on 6-11 shooting, AND 18 rebounds plus two blocked shots.
I know some of you guys are snickering at me for saying the Shock will be the #4 team in the West. I am STILL standing by that. I WILL GO DOWN WITH COACH KLOP, SKY, SLAMBAGE, AND THE WHOLE SHIP! They'll get out of this funk. I'm confident that they will.
Maybe I'm being overly harsh because I couldn't watch this game since I'm in Washington, DC, not Washington State. But really. 31% shooting by both teams which both had a negative assist to turnover ratio with sub 10% three point shooting by one of the teams makes for one bad game no matter what way you slice it. If anyone was at this game to watch, it couldn't have been that entertaining. I hope this doesn't carry over into the regular season for either of these teams.
Seattle plays at LA on Sunday May 26 to kick of its regular season. And for Tulsa, Coach Klop, Diggins, and the gang get to travel to Atlanta next Saturday, May 25 to kick off the regular season.
The NBA Board of Governors voted 22-8 to reject the Sacramento Kings' relocation to Seattle. The vote also blocks the sale of the team to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.
The NBA hopes to facilitate a deal from the Maloof Family which currently owns the team, with Vivek Ranadive's group, which wants to buy the team and keep the team in Sacramento. For the purposes of this site, one of the points in Sacramento's plan to keep the Kings is to bring a WNBA team back, but it remains to be seen how that will come about.
A great day for Kings fans for sure, and for Sonics fans, hopefully there may be a team for them soon.
For Seattle everyone besides Alexis Gray-Lawson and Tanisha Wright played in the win. Rookie forward Tianna Hawkins played the most minutes with nearly 23 minutes, and got 8 points, 3 steals, and 5 rebounds, four of them on the offensive end. Only issue is that she was 3-10 shooting overall, which we can't really find out why when the game wasn't on TV.
For LA, no one really had any breakthrough stats, though A'dia Mathies got the start with none of the top players played besides Nneka Ogwumike who had 7 points and 5 rebounds in just shy of 20 minutes. Even then Mathies was 1-7 shooting and that's hopefully just a bad day at the office.
We finally saw a team just take a lot of threes with LA attempting 20 such shots, but only three of them went in, and I don't know if these were just desperation shots or because the new three may be too far back in the women's game as some have implied. The Storm only took nine threes, but made four of them, two by veteran post Tina Thompson.
In case you missed it, the Seattle Storm announced this past Thursday that their franchise guard Sue Bird had successful knee surgery to remove her left knee cyst. The procedure was done in Hartford, Connecticut at the Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. She will remain in Connecticut for rehab, and is expected to be in Seattle this summer to support her team.
[The surgery] went well. I feel fine and am at home resting. Looking forward to being back in Seattle with my teammates!
Glad to see that it went well.
Last Friday, Chris Hansen, the Seattle investor who is in a binding agreement with the Maloof family to buy the Sacramento Kings raised his valuation of the team to $625 million according to his site. This is the second time he's upped his offer. The actual price that his group would pay is around $409 million.
In addition, he is offering $115 million to the NBA as a relocation fee, or nearly $4 million each to every current NBA team owner per Brian Windhorst of ESPN. The NBA owners in a relocation commitee have rejected the initial proposal to relocate the Kings, but this new valuation is making some people consider. All the owners will vote on it later this week and the relocation and finance committees will meet on this tomorrow via conference call per NBA.com's David Aldridge.
Vivek Ranadivé, who is a current minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, and who is leading a group of investors who would keep the team in Sacramento, will not up his offer and has believed that the NBA doesn't want to get into a bidding war.
The Maloof family has remained committed to selling the team to the Hansen and Steve Ballmer led group. If relocation and the sale to the Hansen and Ballmer group are officially blocked this week, the Maloofs have proposed to give a 20% share to them which probably won't sit too well with the NBA because it's obvious that they want to buy and relocate the team at some point. Either way, the Maloofs do not want to sell to Ranadivé and his group.
We'll see how this plays out. All I have to say is.... wow.
Chris Hansen has released a quick statement on his site regarding the NBA relocation and finance committee's decision. Here it is in its entirety:
To the Sonics Faithful:
While we are disappointed with the relocation committee’s recommendation, we just wanted to let you all know that we remain fully committed to seeing this transaction through. As you are all well aware, we have a binding transaction to purchase the Kings for what would be a record price for an NBA franchise, have one of the best ownership groups ever assembled to purchase a professional sports team in the US, have clearly demonstrated that we have a much more solid Arena plan, have offered a much higher price than the yet to be finalized Sacramento Group, and have placed all of the funds to close the transaction into escrow. As such, we plan to unequivocally state our case for both relocation and our plan to move forward with the transaction to the league and owners at the upcoming Board of Governor’s Meeting in Mid-May.
When we started this process everyone thought it was impossible. While this represents yet another obstacle to achieving our goal, I just wanted to reassure all of you that we have numerous options at our disposal and have absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." ―Muhammad Ali
We have seen this dramatic situation swing wildly back and forth between one city's fanbase's favor to another. I personally think the Kings are still staying in Sacramento at this point but then again, owners, even the Maloofs generally want to be able to sell to those who they want to sell to. We'll see how this story continues to play out.
Earlier today, the NBA's relocation committee voted 12-0 against the Sacramento Kings relocating to Seattle which at best (from the eyes of a Sonics fan) is a major roadblock for Chris Hansen and his ownership group's efforts to buy the team and move it to KeyArena this fall.
The NBA Board of Governors would be voting on May 13 to finalize the decision on the team's fate. With today's news occurring, this pretty much ensures that the Seattle Storm will still be the only professional basketball team in town for this year.
The Seattle Storm have announced the signing of Dayton Flyers point guard Sam MacKay, making her the program's first-ever player to sign with a WNBA team.
From the Flyers' release:
MacKay has a huge week coming up.
Following her graduation from University of Dayton on Sunday, May 5 - with a degree in sports management and two minors; business administration and psychology - MacKay will report to training camp May 9 to compete for a spot on Seattle's roster.
"Just to know I have this opportunity to compete at this level is so amazing," said MacKay. "I owe it to all the coaches and everyone involved at the University of Dayton. I want to keep working hard and, ultimately, make this team."
MacKay had some impressive point guard numbers in her senior season as part of a class that became the first in program history to earn four consecutive NCAA Tournament bids. It's a milestone for a program that Jim Jabir has done an excellent job of building during his tenure.
For more on MacKay, check out our brief writeup about her as a draft prospect prior to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Kristi Toliver and Juan Dixon were among those who shouted out the newest Terp turned pro.
The Seattle Storm selected Jasmine James with the 30th of the 2013 WNBA Draft.
For a team that might be looking for a bit of point guard help with Sue Bird out for the season, this isn't a bad pick at all.
From a summary of her game shortly after her season ended:
She sort of fits the mold of scoring college point guard who could become a more efficient distributor in the pros when she's responsible for less of a scoring load and her athleticism really showed up in her steal percentage (4.36%). The problem is a very low scoring efficiency (44.64% true shooting percentage) and low offensive rebounding percentage (2.62%), which sort of undermine the rest of her profile.
For more on her performance in the Spokane region, check out our recap of what she contributed to Georgia's upset of Stanford.
Wows: Chelsea Poppens is another dominant rebounder and will compete for a roster spot. Without putting her through a combine test, she might be among the strongest players in this draft.
Wonders: She picked up a lot of fouls at Iowa State. Will that be a problem in the WNBA?
Worries: She did cut down on her turnovers quite a bit in her senior year, but she still bobbled the ball when she received it in the post quite a bit.
Wows: Hawkins is a dominant offensive rebounder and will probably contribute that right away. That she maintained that offensive rebounding rate, or close to it, while also remaining so efficient as a scorer is impressive.
Wonders: How much more can she expand her scoring range in the WNBA? She has developed 3-point range at this point and even if she doesn't become a reliable long range shooter in the WNBA, she definite has a chance to become a great pick-and-pop threat.
Worries: Her biggest concern is really a her low personal foul efficiency. How easily will she be able to defend WNBA posts? Will fouls be a problem in the pros as well? We'll have to see exactly what that means for a power forward prospect.
Tomorrow, a group of NBA team owners who are part of the league's Finance and Relocation committees will listen to hearings in regards to the Sacramento Kings' pending sale to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer, and whether relocation is recommended. In addition to Hansen and Ballmer, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson will also make a case as to why Sacramento deserves to keep its NBA team.
The final decision by the NBA Board of Governors' will likely come on April 18-19 in regards to the franchise's fate for the 2013-2014 season when all owners will vote on the Kings' situation.
In addition, SB Nation now has a new blog for Seattle SuperSonics fans by acquiring Sonics Rising to the SB Nation NBA network which we are also part of. Sonics Rising has been in operation since 2005 covering SuperSonics basketball and continued to be active after the franchise was relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. The addition of Sonics Rising should not be taken as an implication that the Kings will be relocating next season or as an endorsement in favor of it.
To read more news on the Sacramento Kings' relocation situation from Kings' fans perspectives, read Sactown Royalty's StoryStream.
To read more on the same from Seattle SuperSonics fans' perspectives, read Sonics Rising's StoryStream.
Check out this article in the Sydney Morning Herald Sport section. If you're a Seattle Storm fan, here's some promising quotes from the franchise center in regards to her recovery from hamstring surgery earlier this year:
For the first time in three years, I’m waking up feeling good – well, it’s the first time in my whole career I’ve woken up feeling this good – so I’m completely hamstring-pain-free.
I’m running up hills, doing everything I can, pain-free, so it’s brilliant.
This is only one money quote. There's a ton of other good stuff here where Jackson talks about the fact that she's played with various ailments but that it also didn't allow her to play at an optimal level. Some Storm fans are worried that Jackson missing this season may mean that she may never return to the WNBA, at its extreme at least. Here's her response to those worries:
I’m not pushing to come back for the Caps next season, or to go to Europe or anything. At the moment, my goal is to be ready for the  WNBA season, so when I say ready, it means fit and ready to go. That’s basically my aim, so whatever happens before that is going to be a bonus.
It’s been an emotional roller-coaster that has finally stopped – and I feel good.
In short, this isn't just promising news for Storm fans. It's great news for them because she is healthy. And she won't be playing until the 2014 season, despite the lure to play for the Canberra Capitals WNBL team or Europe so it will be great to see a healthy and refreshed LJ next season.
Follow more on what the Storm does in this offseason as the green and gold looks to go for a WNBA record 10th straight playoff appearance in our StoryStream.
UPDATE on March 27, 2013 at 12:10 AM: The Newcastle Herald in Australia actually had this in an article dated yesterday. Read it here. Other media outlets including the AP have a take here. Consider this piece above to be our quick take as WNBA fans on this news.
Yesterday, Chris Hansen released some preliminary designs of a new SoDo Arena on his website. The new arena would house an NBA team, which at this time appears to the be the Sacramento Kings considering that he is in a "binding agreement" to purchase the team from the Maloof family. It will also be ready for the NHL should a team relocate there or if another owner is granted an expansion franchise.
Here is Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans' article on the announcement of Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird missing the 2013 WNBA season. While it is known that Bird is not in pain, Team President and CEO Karen Bryant said some rather scary things in regards to her knee cyst.
First, she noted that "multiple doctors" believed that having her "compete through a WNBA season would significantly increase the risk for a catastrophic injury." No one knows why the cyst showed up, but Bryant added that "the cyst developed, and it's increasing in size." Lastly, a team source in the article mentioned that knee cysts could feel like a meniscus tear and cause pain though that's not the case, at least right now with Bird.
From reading this article, it sounds like it's a good thing that this decision was made in light of the risk of Bird playing with a growing cyst. I don't even want to know what a "catastrophic" injury would mean since I've seen something close to that earlier in January on the gridiron when the Redskins played against the Seahawks in the NFL playoffs.
Follow the Storm's future offseason moves and news in our StoryStream.
Today, the Seattle Storm announced that guard Sue Bird will sit out the 2013 WNBA season due to a knee surgery she will have this spring to remove a cyst in her right knee. Along with the loss of Lauren Jackson due to her pending recovery from hamstring surgery in January, it is a guarantee now that the Storm will play its first full season since its inaugural campaign in 2000 without either player in its dynamic duo.
According to a post on Chris Hansen's site, a Priority Ticket Waitlist for Seattle SuperSonics seats will be opened to the public this Thursday on March 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM Pacific Time.
The group will attempt to contact former Sonics season ticket holders who will have priority to buy season tickets for the team in their same seat locations at KeyArena after the relocation of the Sacramento Kings if this ultimately happens. They however are still recommended to sign on the waitlist anyway to update their contact info.
It must also be known that Sacramento is not letting the Kings go without a fight. On February 28, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced that 24 Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov and Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Ron Burkle would be the primary investors in a local group to keep the team there and make a bid. NBA Commissioner David Stern later announced that their bid was too low vs. Seattle's, but that the Board of Governors, rather than the Maloof family, the current Kings owners would control the Kings' destiny, which still gives Kings fans hope.
For further up to date updates on the Sacramento Kings situation, follow Sactown Royalty's StoryStream.
The fine folks in Sacramento, led by former NBA star and current mayor Kevin Johnson, are working hard to keep the NBA's Kings from moving to Seattle. In a recent press conference about their plans they revealed a WNBA component that would bring back the Monarchs.
We'll have more reaction on this one at some point, but in the meantime the brief letter from Essence Carson also posted on their website is probably worth your time to read.
For more on the Liberty, visit our offseason storystream.
Today, the Seattle Storm announced the signing of Nakia Sanford to a contract.
In this second part of the Q&A we ask Storm fan and season ticket holder Patrick Sheehy on his thoughts regarding the Washington Mystics' current offseason which is highlighted by a major hire with Mike Thibault coming in as the new GM and head coach. So far, most of the viewpoints on their offseason come from a Mystics fan perspective. Maybe I am not level headed and am undervaluing or overvaluing certain aspects on this team. So now, let's see this team's offseason from another fanbase's point of view which could add some more perspective into things.
The Seattle Storm has been a team that has long enjoyed a large and supportive fanbase. On the basketball court, it has been anchored by one of the best duos in league history for over a decade with Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird who have been major pieces for two WNBA championship runs in 2004 and 2010. While I have given my thoughts on what the team needs to consider during the offseason, I also wanted to shake things up and allow a Storm fan to give his thoughts on the team.
Patrick Sheehy was a Seattle SuperSonics season ticket holder from 2000 until 2008 when they relocated to Oklahoma City. He was a named plaintiff in a season ticket holder lawsuit against team owner Clay Bennett for allegedly breaching contract terms regarding season ticket renewals with his fellow season ticket holders and was able to get into a settlement with Bennett's ownership group. Now, it looks like the NBA may be coming back to the Emerald City, but at the expense of the fans of the Sacramento Kings and the city their team currently plays in.
This year I will be entering my sixth season as a Washington Wizards and Mystics season ticket holder. Until 2008, not unlike myself, Patrick Sheehy was a season ticket holder for the Seattle SuperSonics and Storm, and watched them take on the rest of the NBA and WNBA respectively. But since 2008 after the Sonics were relocated to Oklahoma City, he does not enjoy the same luxury that I do. Five years later, Seattle native and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer entered into a binding agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings NBA franchise from the Maloof family with the intention of relocating the team to Seattle. This fired up the Kings' fanbase to make efforts to prevent a second relocation effort in two years when the Maloofs tried to relocate the team to Anaheim. One of many things the fans did was have a #HereWeBuy Night last Saturday in a game against the Utah Jazz, where the Kings won 120-109 and they won yesterday again at home against the Houston Rockets, 117-111. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson has also made major efforts to get investors to buy the team with a "whale" investor to be announced soon. So, what are Patrick's thoughts on these developments and the possibility that Seattle will have the NBA once again?
As announced yesterday, the Seattle Storm have signed Temeka Johnson and Noelle Quinn. But how specifically does that help them and what does it mean for the other teams who have lost out on their former players? Click here for the link to the actual announcement.
Today at a press conference at Target Center in Minneapolis where the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx play, NBA Commissioner David Stern confirmed that Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer's group has filed to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle. Here is a link to a video regarding the announcement from KING5.com in Seattle.
It should be noted that this step was totally expected. Meanwhile Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will have an opportunity to address the NBA Board of Governors in April to develop his plan to build a new arena in the city, and keep the team there. He has been instrumental in creating a local based ownership group where he got 19 local investors to pledge $1 million each to keep the Kings in Sacramento. Mayor Johnson is currently trying to get a large majority investor to join the group. One person who may be the "whale" of the group is Ron Burkle, who is one of the major investors in the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team.
Either way, there will likely be an ending to this story that will leave one city unhappy.
For more information and detailed analysis and developments on the Sacramento Kings' relocation situation, please visit Sactown Royalty's StoryStream on it. In addition, SB Nation NBA, the network this blog is officially under also has an additional StoryStream on detailed developments.
The Seattle Storm announced in a press release that Lauren Jackson, its three time MVP center, will sit out the 2013 season to heal from a hamstring operation back in January. In addition, the Storm announced that Ann Wauters will not play in the WNBA this season in order to spend the summer with her family and therefore terminated her contract.
The Seattle Storm finished its 2012 season with a playoff appearance, losing in the first round to the Minnesota Lynx, two games to one. The Storm also finished with a 16-18 record in the regular season, their first losing record in the Sue Bird era. What can the Storm do to improve its team over the short or long term?
According to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer's sports team investment group, they have announced that they have entered into an agreement to purchase the Sacramento Kings NBA team from the Maloof family. This would pave the way for a relocation of the team to Seattle for the 2013-2014 NBA season.
According to Yahoo! Sports writer Adrian Wojnarowski, the Maloof family which owns the Sacramento Kings NBA team is in talks regarding selling the team to Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer for $500 million. It is expected that the team will move to Seattle as early as the 2013-2014 NBA season.
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