_____*DUNZO

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Ten Years of Greatness

Let me start off by saying that I know this blog has turned into nothing but a basketball (especially women's basketball) semi-entertainment blog. But it's probably not that disappointing to anyone considering I don't have any fans. See, I've been trying to impress a certain league to pick me to be...ahem...part of their blog squad. So please bear with me. Plus I think the Odds and Ends entries somewhat makes up for the lack of non-basketball material.

But enough with the apologies and let's move on to the game of basketball. First of all, this has been one of the best NBA first-round playoffs ever! But more on the NBA later (as I am planning to do a special Odds and Ends 2006 NBA Playoffs in the next few weeks) and on to their female counterpart. The WNBA kick-started their 10th season yesterday in preseason form. Upon their 10th year anniversary the league is planning on several features, such as the WNBA All-Decade Team. So far they've narrowed it down to 30 players. Some players I felt were left off (Nikki McCray) and some didn't deserved to be nominated (Diana Taurasi). No offense to DT and her fans, but based on longevity, she just aint there yet.

My final list is based on several categories: statistical poweress, role into developing the game, pro career success and overall basketball talent. Honourable mentions: Teresa Weatherspoon, Janeth Arcain and Dawn Staley.

Cynthia Cooper, Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes aka CC, TT, and SS:
Probably 3 out of the 4 easiest picks. These three players have won 4 consecutive WNBA championships. Collectively we are talking about 5 MVP awards, 2 All-Star MVPs and numerous All-WNBA selections.

Lisa Leslie:
Antoher easy pick. The best post player to ever play WNBA basketball. And again countless league awards: 3 All-Star MVPs, 2 league MVPs and 1 Defensive Player of the Year. Add that to the back to back championships and being the first WNBA player to dunk in a game.

Ticha Penicheiro and Yolanda Griffith:
If you consider them as one, it's a no-brainer that they're legendary players and all-decade team caliber. But individually, Yo is an easy pick (MVP, DPY, Newcomer of the year) and Penicheiro's case becomes quite arguable. But if you think about it, Penicheiro has been the league's assist leader in 6 out of 9 WNBA seasons and quite frankly, no one can pass the ball as well as Penicheiro.

Chamique Holdsclaw:
Because she revolutionized the game. Because she is the only player to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding (even in the NBA, only Wilt Chamberlain can say he's done the same). The girl only played 20 games, yet no one could surpass her as the scoring and rebounding leader in 2002. Mique might have not changed the game as everyone projected she would, but she's done pretty well for herself and she aint done yet. And if anyone has tagged you as the Female Michael Jordan, I think you've earned your spot.

Tamika Catchings:
Holdsclaw's Lady Vol temmate. I know it may be a little to early for Catch to be named all-decade team but she is just too damn talented! Catch's game is so complete and impossible to ignore. And I promise you, 10 years from now, if you look back at your selection, Catch would not be a bad idea at all.

Lauren Jackson:
Like Catch, LJ hasn't been in the league too long but that hasn't stopped her from overrachieving. Personally, I'm not a big Jackson fan, but when a player has won an MVP award, a championship ring and led the league in scoring, it becomes really hard to argue her place.

Katie Smith:
I was so close to picking Weatherspoon over Katie. One because T-Spoon has had more playoff success and second because I just love her. But Smith is a prolific scorer. Spoon also had a lack lustre run towards the end of her career while Smith is still in the league and will probably continue to make history and break records.

Once again I encourage everyone to vote for the WNBA All-Decade Team. Hopefully, you'll keep these considerations in mind.

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