CHICAGO (AP) The Phoenix Mercury were without star center Brittney Griner. However, they still had Diana Taurasi.
Taurasi scored 14 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Mercury beat the Chicago Sky 87-82 Friday night to complete a three-game sweep of the WNBA Finals for their third championship.
"We have the best player in the world, Diana Taurasi," Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. "When you put the ball in her hands at crunch time, she makes it happen."
The Phoenix Mercury is one win from clinching a championship and becoming one of the greatest WNBA teams ever. And while Diana Turasi and Britney Griner’s play has provided inspiration at times, the Mercury have also had a guest on their bench who has provided extra inspiration this postseason.
The Mercury introduced 11-year-old Mia McPoland as the team’s “honorary” assistant coach a pre-playoff press conference in Phoenix. Head coach Sandy Brondello said she was searching for someone with strength, determination, and perseverance to help move her team through the playoffs. And Coach Mia fit the bill.
After 16 years of playing in the WNBA, Becky Hammon will become a rookie again when the NBA season tips off this fall. No, she’s not turning back the clock. Instead, she’ll enter the upcoming season as a first-year assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs. By joining the 2013-14 NBA champions, the newly retired San Antonio Silver Stars guard is also making history. Hammon will be the first full-time female member of an NBA coaching staff.
Undrafted when she started her WNBA career with the New York Liberty, Hammon wrapped up her final season as the Stars’ all-time leader in assists, points per game, and three-point field goals made. And even though fans won’t get to see her run the Stars’ offense on the court anymore, they will get to see her help draw up plays for the Spurs on the sidelines.
Last week, Hammon was in New York taking part in the WNBA’s Inspiring Women Luncheon, where she was given the Boost Mobile Pioneer Award. She spoke to SI Kids about her legacy on the court, her new gig, and what her new boss Gregg Popovich is really like.
When the NBA season tips off this fall, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker will receive some pointers from a six-time WNBA All-Star.
On Tuesday, the San Antonio Spurs announced Becky Hammon as an assistant coach, making her the first full-time female member of an NBA coaching staff.
It was a routine fast break play that turned painfully wrong.
During a Team USA scrimmage game on Friday, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was chasing Houston Rockets guard James Harden, when he jumped up in attempt to block Harden’s shot from behind, and landed awkwardly at the base of the basket. George’s leg bent sideways and snapped in one of the most horrific freak accidents in pro basketball. Warning: It’ll make you shriek and wince. It’s reeeaally tough to watch — so tough, in fact, we’ll only link to Sports Illustrated’s report on the injury.
George’s injury — a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula — ended the game early. It also produced an enormous outpour of support for the All-star.
Earlier this week, Maya Moore took time out of her very busy July schedule to score 48 points — the second most in WNBA history.
On Tuesday night, Moore led her Minnesota Lynx in a double-overtime win against the Atlanta Dream, 112-108. Moore made 16 of 30 attempts and went 7-9 from the three-point line. Her huge night gave her the second highest points total in league history, behind Riquna Williams’ 51 points last season for the Tulsa Shock. (Moore's stat line also included 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and one block.)
Her mindset was simple: “If it’s my shot and I’m open, shoot the ball,” Moore said. “If it’s not, pass to an open teammate.”
LeBron James never went to college — he jumped to the NBA straight from high school. But in his essay about why he decided to return to Cleveland, LeBron said his four years in Miami were “almost like college for other kids.”
King James’ time with the Heat was not without its ups and downs, just like a normal college experience. So that got us thinking about what his four years in Miami would look like if here were actually attending college — let’s call it Heat University.
Here’s what we came up with: