The WNBA Update: Weeks 1 and 2

June 24th, 2011

What’s been going on in the WNBA?  Plenty, so let’s get started.  Let’s get into the top 3 story lines.

Unfamiliar Faces at the Top of the Power Rankings and the MVP Race

The MVP Race began with a familiar face, Sue Bird, in the lead.  Bird wasn’t there long as Minnesota’s Rebekkah Brunson’s past two weeks of stellar play earned her a seat at the top the standings.  To be sure, without Brunson’s post presence, the Minnesota Lynx would not be able to compete even though Sigmone Augustus has found her stride.

And Minnesota is on a roll.  Not to anyone’s surprise necessarily, but for a team that was the absolute worst team in the league a year or two ago to be sitting pretty on top of the Power Rankings is definitely newsworthy.  With no one being able to keep Rebekkah Brunson off the boards while simultaneously keeping the hungry Sigmone Augustus from dropping a couple dozen points, the Lynx have found their stride and with the pressure off of Maya Moore to do EVERYTHING as was the case in her senior year of her collegiate career, she has the time to figure out this game.  Only the Los Angelas Sparks has successfully put down Minnesota, even with Moore dropping 21 points on the 15 year player and future Hall of Famer, Tina Thompson.  That said Minnesota goes into this weekend as ‘the team to beat’ led by the veterans Sigmone Augustus who has averaged 20 points in the last three games and Rebekkah Brunson who is averaging 14 boards a game, and their rookie, Maya Moore, who when she’s not visibly tired–no doubt that stellar run in Conneticut is catching up to her–is the most dangerous player on the floor.

What’s up with Phoenix?

If you watched the first game of the year for Phoenix Mercury then you were asking yourself, “What are they doing?”  They were out of sync and out of their minds as they let the Seattle Storm beat them in the last 30 seconds of the game.   After starting the season 0-3, the Mercury’s first win didn’t come easy against Indiana who two years ago gave Diana Taurasi and the Mercury all they could take in the most exciting WNBA finals in history.  This time the Mercury’s win came in overtime behind Taurasi’s 32 points.  With their most recent win against San Antonio, they look to be heading in the right direction.  We’ll have to keep a watch on them as they put the pieces together.

Sweet 15

The 15th year anniversary of the inaugural WNBA game against the Los Angelas Sparks and New York Liberty was Tuesday night and definitely worth watching on

An amazing game, a great outcome, and a wonderful celebration of the women who have played in this league. Of course Tina Thompson showed out as did Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter. Thompson is the only player who has played all 15 seasons and is the league’s all time leading scorer with over 6,000 points. In it’s 15th season, the WNBA is asking fans to vote on the Top 15 of “All Time.” Here’s the list. I’ve stared my picks.

*Seimone Augustus
*Sue Bird
Ruthie Bolton
Swin Cash
*Tamika Catchings
*Cynthia Cooper
*Katie Douglas
Cheryl Ford
Yolanda Griffith
*Becky Hammon
Chamique Holdsclaw
*Lauren Jackson
Shannon Johnson
*Lisa Leslie
Taj McWilliams-Franklin
Delisha Milton-Jones
*Deanna Nolan
Candace Parker
*Ticha Penicheiro
Cappie Pondexter
Nykesha Sales
*Katie Smith
Tangela Smith
Dawn Staley
*Sheryl Swoopes
*Diana Taurasi
Penny Taylor
*Tina Thompson
*Teresa Weatherspoon
Natalie Williams

INK: Stories that Should Be Told

June 16th, 2011

I’ve not been writing as much recently because I’ve been doing more reading as of late.  If you know anything about writing, then you know that you can’t call yourself a writer if you’re not reading at least 12 times as much as you write.

This summer’s reading goal has been to read the entire Octavia Butler (1947 – 2006) collection.  Octavia Butler is a Black woman, a Black feminist, and she writes Science Fiction–my favorite genre.  Posthumously, she was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2010.  Her 14 works are treasures and she is an inspiration for me, a Black woman, a Black feminist, also trying to make my mark in this world.

In this post, I wanted to briefly revisit my earlier rants about the lack of quality stories about Black people in cinematic representations, thus my inclusion of this post in my In the Name of Kwanza Series.

In Butler’s Lilith’s Brood (Xenogenesis) series, she’s writing about a woman who wakes up among an alien species after humans have destroyed the planet through nuclear war.  Lilith is among the last human beings in existence and will give birth to a child that’s not quite human.  It’s a story that complicates gender and race, one that digs all the way down into the meaning of what it means to be human after we’ve destroyed our world and all of our culture.  Now that’s a movie waiting to happen.  Or is it?

Butler and many other Black authors have been creating characters, situations, universes, alternate realities, that have gone unrecognized and mostly invisible in Hollywood as tangible sources from which to draw good, detailed, complicated stories for the big screen.  Brown people have more stories to tell other than those of getting shot, getting married, getting rich or dying, or getting cheated on.  We can do better and we don’t even have to look that far to do it: the library.

Books by Octavia Butler

Patternmaster (1976)
Mind of My Mind (1977)
Survivor (1978)
Wild Seed (1980)
Clay’s Ark (1984)
Seed to Harvest (2007)
Dawn (1987)
Adulthood Rites (1988)
Imago (1989)
Parable of the Sower (1993)
Parable of the Talents (1998)
Kindred (1979)
Fledgling (2005)
Bloodchild and Other Stories (1995), 2nd edition (2006)