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    WNBA.com: 2008 All-WNBA First and Second Teams Announced
    2008 All-WNBA First and Second Teams Announced

    Posted Oct 3 2008 3:19PM

    -- Candace Parker, Lisa Leslie and Lindsay Whalen Headline First Team --


    U.S. Olympians Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker were all named to the 2008 All-WNBA first team.

    Barry Gossage/NBAE/Getty Images


    NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2008 -- The 2008 All-WNBA First and Second Teams were announced by the WNBA today. Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker, who led all players in the voting process with 221 points, was selected to the First Team becoming just the fifth rookie to be bestowed with the honor. Sparks center Lisa Leslie, who joins the First Team for the eighth time in her career, finished second with 192 points. Connecticut Sun guard Lindsay Whalen was selected to the First Team for the first time in her career with 178 points.

    Voting for the All-WNBA First and Second Teams was conducted by a panel of national sportswriters and broadcasters. Players were selected by position and received five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team designation.

    Phoenix Mercury guard/forward Diana Taurasi and San Antonio Silver Stars forward Sophia Young round out the First Team with 173 and 171 points respectively.

    Parker finished her first season in the WNBA as the league's top rebounder (9.5) and finished fourth in scoring (18.5 ppg). Leslie, the 2008 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, ranked behind only Parker in rebounding (8.9 rpg) and led all centers in scoring (15.1 ppg) and all players in blocks (2.9 bpg). Whalen (14.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 5.4 apg) became only the second player in league history to average at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists since Nikki Teasley in 2003 (11.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.4 apg). Taurasi submitted the second-best scoring season in league history (24.1 ppg) placing just behind her own league record set in 2006 (25.3 ppg). Young set a career high in scoring (17.5 ppg) and led the Silver Stars to the franchise's only first-place finish.

    The 2008 All-WNBA Second Team is comprised of Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird (166 points), San Antonio Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon (133 points), Connecticut Sun forward Asjha Jones (99 points), Detroit Shock guard/forward Deanna Nolan (95 points) and Seattle Storm center Lauren Jackson (68 points).

    In honor of being named to the All-WNBA First and Second Teams, each player will receive a Tiffany & Co. designed trophy. In addition, $10,000 will be awarded to each member of the First Team, while each member of the Second Team will receive $5,000 .

    Copyright © 2008 WNBA Enterprises, LLC. | Turner Sports Interactive, All rights reserved. No portion of WNBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the WNBA.com Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use.

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    WNBA.com: Why the WNBA Matters
    Why the WNBA Matters

    Posted Oct 8 2008 7:58PM
    By Donna Orender, President of the WNBA


    Sophia Young's buzzer-beater was just one of the highlights of the record-breaking 2008 WNBA season.

    D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images


    Tension and passion hung in the air in the final electrifying seconds of Game 2 of the WNBA Western Conference Finals on Sept. 27. In front of a packed home crowd at the AT&T Center, the San Antonio Silver Stars' Sophia Young hit a 14-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer to fend off elimination from the Los Angeles Sparks. At this moment, someone leaned over to me and whispered, through the tremendous noise, "You must be so proud of all this."

    It was an incredible moment; one of many that define our league. At these times, when the promises of the WNBA align -- when huge, passionate crowds come together with great athletes who are giving it their all in a do-or-die situation -- I am grateful for many things: for the excitement this league generates and the entertainment and athleticism that it showcases; for the messages it delivers to young girls to pursue their dreams, and that sweat and grit are permissible; for the messages it delivers to young boys that strong and athletic women should be a worthy option for their fandom; that the league is making the necessary strides to establish itself as a viable entity next to its much older and bigger brothers. Yet I remain bewildered at the anger that just being can engender on sports talk radio.

    The WNBA formed just 12 years ago, and it continues to blaze new trails. The markers of success are familiar in the American sports landscape -- corporate partnerships, network television broadcasts, the rhythm of a season from training camp to All-Star to playoffs. It's the trailblazers who are different. Our league sits uniquely at the crossroads of Main Street USA, with an atmosphere and accessibility that encourage families to gather for a game that speaks to America's values and work ethic. In a day and age when community leaders, politicians and parents simply ask for positive role models for their children, we find one right in front of us: the WNBA, a league where teamwork and hard work are prized, and athletes' raw passion to play and compete are front and center from opening tip to closing buzzer.

    It's a league that is defining what an investment in our female youth can yield. For 12 years now, young girls, their fathers, coaches, communities and colleges have pursued dreams. It's in this pursuit that superior athletes -- who have studied the game, have revered the game, and are playing the game with a style and athleticism that has fans out of their seats -- have emerged.

    But the league is about more than just great players, as it delivers on its promise to "Expect Great." With these role models before them, young women are playing sports in exponentially increasing numbers. The benefits for our daughters, nieces, and neighbors to compete at every level are enormous. The health benefits have been well documented: the lowering of heart disease and cancers, and the rise in self-esteem and school performance.

    Far less commonly recited, however, are the enormous social benefits. Sports is a welcomed and pervasive cultural presence; its language is the language of business and the currency of status, and it clearly dominates the hallways and corner offices of the global corporate landscape. Up until now women have been largely sidelined, kept away from the enormous profits and other considerable benefits that being a valued member of this sports society generate.

    The WNBA is increasingly important as it helps to reshape this playing field and, more importantly, creates a new look for those who play and the businesses that support them. The league says to young women that they can earn a seat at the table by showing them that they're invited to dinner in the first place.

    After 12 years, the WNBA deserves more credit for what it has accomplished -- for the athleticism of the players, for the power of the game, for the emotional connection created when our teams nakedly put their passions on the floor.

    The product is great; these women are fantastic. Our fans have responded to the high level of play by pushing increased attendance -- including a record 46 sellouts -- TV ratings, Web traffic and merchandise sales. These women are spreading this work ethic and universal language around the world -- note the 41 current-and-former WNBA players on Olympic rosters in Beijing, including the 12 members of Team USA who brought home their fourth consecutive gold medal.

    So here we sit after the Finals, with one team -- San Antonio -- coming up short after bringing the excitement of a championship round to their city for the first time, while another team -- Detroit -- cements its legacy as a dynasty by winning a third title in six years. We were squeezed in with the baseball playoffs and football season, competing for the eyes of sports fans, but it is worth noting that just over a decade ago, the choice to tune in to the WNBA didn't exist at all, and that is something worth recognizing.

    Copyright © 2008 WNBA Enterprises, LLC. | Turner Sports Interactive, All rights reserved. No portion of WNBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the WNBA.com Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use.

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    Slantmouth - The WNBA: Fundamentally Boring
    The WNBA: Fundamentally Boring
    July 24, 2008 by Damien Atlas, Sports Monkey
    I take it that Damien Atlas has never watched a WNBA game in his life.

    I’ve never paid much attention to women’s professional basketball. I guess I’d rather watch children cross a busy highway. At least with the children, there’s hope someone will eventually stop them. Who’s going to stop the WNBA? Probably no one, because while people actually care about children, no one cares about the WNBA.
    It is not like anyone is forcing him to watch the WNBA, and there are fans, so there are those that care about the WNBA.

    In reality, there are a few who do care about women’s professional basketball. I’ve heard many of them talk about how WNBA competitors play at a very high level and that their fundamental skills are as good, if not better, than NBA athletes, because of the lack of emphasis on flashy maneuvers. I’ll counter that with the fact that no one give a crap about their fundamentals. Seriously, no one cares. At all. Not even a little bit. I hear the Paraplegic Basketball Association has some solid fundamentals but I don’t think I’ll be watching that, either.
    Damien should understand that there are those who do find the WNBA interesting while others do not, but opinions can vary depending on who is answering it.

    WNBA players may perform at a high level, but it’s a dubious claim that they have better fundamentals than NBA athletes because they don’t focus on the flashy aspects of the game, like dunks, ally-oop passes, etc. It’s like the marketing geniuses of the WNBA started spinning this complex web of idiocy to blind people into believing it’s actually a good thing that no one in the WNBA does all of the entertaining stuff fans enjoy. Next thing you know, these geniuses will be selling porn movies with all the sex removed and telling you it’s actually better that way, but we all know the last time someone tried that, the results were “Dawson’s Creek”. It somehow sucked and didn’t suck, simultaneously.
    Since Damien does not watch the WNBA, how can he claim that it's not worth it. I have been watching it since it started, and I found that it was enjoyable, but this is my opinion and I am entitled to have whether others like it or not. If he is so much into baskettball with entertainment, then I suggest seeing the Harlem Globetrotters rather than either the NBA or WNBA. Historically, when the NBA was young, it didn't have all of those moves either, so this is no different on the WNBA, plus we all know that the late George Mikan, a known NBA legend, never dunked in his entire career yet the NBA considers him as one of the great, so there is more than just all those flashy moves.

    It’s hard to get really interested when every time a player dunks during a game—twice in league history—it’s an actual news story. The NBA has dunk contests, where if a guy jumps, passes the ball through his legs and reverse dunks the ball, it’s just kind of OK. Who is going to get excited about someone barely getting their hand over the rim to “slam” it home? Not me, that’s for sure. I don’t think I could live in a world where a dunk was some sort of mythical creature only sighted every few years, like Madonna’s acting career.
    There was a time when that was the case in the NBA on dunking. One of the first players to have done a dunk was probably Wilt Chamberlin b/c of height, which is why the three point line was moved to its current diameter today due how it was easy for him to do it from there. However, dunks in the NBA were very much rare until Julius Erving did in the way many of see it today. The Slam Dunk Contest is more of an exhibition than part of a real game, which is why most don't care much for it as this is the same case in the other NBA All-Star Exhibtions. Honestly, I don't watch professional baskettball be it NBA or WNBA just to see showboating, which is what I find overrated, b/c instead of having a team, there is nothing but a bunch of players that just want the spotlight for themselves like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, who think it's all about them. Unless they play like a team, some players, no matter how good they are, may never win a championship.

    Well, the WNBA was finally able to do something that interested me recently: a fight! Yeah, a good old-fashioned brawl. The strangely similarly-themed Sparks and Shock went at it near the end of their game a few nights ago. Arms were wildly flailing. Players went flying to the ground. One player even had to leave in a wheelchair, possibly to join the Paraplegic Basketball Association. It was compelling television, or at least it would have been, if I had actually been watching the game and didn’t just catch the whole thing over the Internet afterwards.

    Regular fights could have finally made the WNBA interesting (check out the rising popularity of the UFC and domestic violence), but it looks like the league doesn’t know what’s actually good for itself. They have suspended ten players that participated in the melee, sending a message to the players and fans that entertaining them will not be tolerated, unless it’s the guy with the t-shirt canon launching shirts into the stands. It’s a pretty grim situation, but one of the few grim situations that can actually be improved with a few hard punches to the face and a collection of bloody noses. It’s an opportunity that is slipping through the WNBA’s hands. Too bad it’s not better at the fundamentals.

    ~Damien Atlas, Sports Monkey
    I thought that the brawl was the worst thing ever. I can still remember when both the NY Knicks and Miami Heat had a brawl durring the 1997 Eastern Confrence Semifinals that resulted in five players from the Knicks and one player from the Heat being suspended on that. A near similar incident happened again two years later but it only involved two players from the Knicks and one player from the Heat, not to mention that Jeff van Gundy, the Knicks coach at the time, tried to stop on of them from engaging in the brawl. There were other teams that did this two such as the recent brawl between the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers that got around 30 game suspensions for most of them while Ron Artest had to miss the rest of the season even though he wasn't solely responsible for what he did, which only started when a fan, that is no longer allowed to attend the games, for throwing a cup at him. I did hear that a Knicks game against the Denver Nuggets had to end early on fight that involved Carmelo Anthony. There were even players who did the most wrong things such as Latrell Sprewell being suspened for chocking his coach when he was on the Golden State Warriors. I can say a bunch of things that Dennis Rodman was known for doing such as kicking the camerman, knocking John Stockton into the stands, beating up Shaquille O'Neal, and even headbutting a referee, though there is a lot more than what I have just mentioned. There is nothing good about fights in either the NBA or WNBA. If Damien is so much into sports that involve fights, then I suggest he watches boxing instead. Just leave the WNBA alone, b/c if it isn't worth it, then why give it the time of day? I dare him to watch an NBA game on ESPN Classic that is from the 1940's and 1950's, and I am sure that many will claim that it's not the special, which how all professional sports are like when they are something new, but as time went by, they got better ratings and more fan support, which is going to be the case for the WNBA. On a sidenote, ratings for the WNBA went up as did attendance and viewership. Damien Atlas, you have just been debunked.

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    that atlas guy is dickless

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    WNBA.com: Sparks’ Candace Parker Named <br>AP Female Athlete of Year
    Sparks’ Candace Parker Named AP Female Athlete of Year

    Posted Dec 25 2008 11:09AM


    The No. 1 pick in the draft, Candace Parker won the WNBA's Rookie of the Year and MVP awards in 2008.

    Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images


    Dec. 24, 2008 (AP) -- It's been a whirlwind year for Candace Parker.

    She led Tennessee to a second straight national championship in women's basketball, was the first pick in the WNBA draft, took the league's MVP and rookie of the year awards, and helped the U.S. win a fourth-straight Olympic gold medal.

    Now Parker, 22, has been selected female athlete of the year by members of The Associated Press.

    "Wow, that's amazing," Parker said. "It's been a great year from so many standpoints. I haven't really had a chance to sit back and let it all sink in."

    Her selection Tuesday ended a five-year run in which a golfer (Annika Sorenstam, then Lorena Ochoa) won the award -- the longest streak of any sport.

    Parker's accomplishments weren't lost on Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

    "Talk about hitting all the high points of one's life. She enjoyed an incredible run of back-to-back national championships, Olympic gold and all of her individual accolades," the Hall of Famer said. "It was an exceptional year for an exceptional athlete and person."

    Parker received 36 votes from members of The Associated Press, barely edging Ochoa, who had won the previous two years. Ochoa won seven times on the LPGA Tour, including her second major at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and led the money list for the third consecutive season.

    Ochoa finished one vote shy of becoming only the fourth three-time winner of the award. Rounding out the top five were gymnast Nastia Liukin, swimmer Dara Torres, and gymnast Shawn Johnson.

    Liukin took home the biggest prize in her ongoing rivalry with Johnson, edging her teammate and Olympic village roommate for the all-around title in Beijing.

    The gold medal had extra meaning for Liukin, coming 20 years after her father and coach, Valeri, finished a close second to his teammate at the Seoul Games. Liukin finished with five medals, one more than her father won in 1988.

    The 41-year-old Torres won three silver medals at the Olympics. Johnson won four medals, saving the best for last. After getting silvers in the team competition, all-around and floor exercise, she finally won gold on balance beam, the last event.

    Michael Phelps was a runaway selection for the AP's top male athlete, announced Monday. Besides Phelps, only Olympic sprinting sensation Usain Bolt and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning got more than a single vote. Phelps was named on 172 ballots, becoming just the third swimmer to claim the award.

    Parker is only the third basketball player to win the women's award, joining Sheryl Swoopes in 1993 and Rebecca Lobo in 1995. Parker averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in leading Los Angeles to the Western Conference semifinals before the Sparks lost in three games to the San Antonio Silver Stars.

    "Losing has made me hungry to get better for next year," Parker said. "It's been on my mind since we lost to San Antonio."

    She had a high of 40 points and grabbed 10 or more rebounds in 17 games. She led the league in double-doubles with 17, led the league in rebounding and led rookies in scoring, blocks (2.3) and minutes (33.6).

    Losing is one thing that Parker didn't do often at Tennessee. Playing with a bruised and braced shoulder, she helped the Lady Vols win its second consecutive championship.

    She became the fourth player to win back-to-back Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four honors and left Tennessee with a year left of eligibility. She was clearly ready for the next level.

    "Candace has invested so much time in her game and her skills. That's been the difference. Candace has separated herself by her competitive drive and her hard work," Summitt said. "She spends countless hours in the gym on her own. She knows her roles being the go-to player and a great teammate. How much more can one person accomplish in a year?"

    Parker joined the short list of rookies to win the MVP in their first year in the major sports. Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld did it in the NBA; Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki in major league baseball; and Jim Brown in the NFL.

    "I had no idea coming into the season that I would have the chance to be an MVP," said Parker, who became only the second player ever to dunk in the WNBA. "There are so many talented players in that league that I idolized growing up."

    More than just a star on the court, Parker has become the face of the league. Her jersey was the WNBA's top seller and being a role model to so many young fans is important to the young star.

    "It means a lot to me and is a huge responsibility," Parker said. "You want to continue to carry yourself in a positive way. I was lucky to have Pat Summitt as a coach and she taught us how to be role models."

    Parker's already had a busy offseason, getting married to Sacramento Kings forward Shelden Williams. She also plans to head to Russia next month to play overseas.

    Copyright © 2008 WNBA Enterprises, LLC. | Turner Sports Interactive, All rights reserved. No portion of WNBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the WNBA.com Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use.

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