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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Detroit Shock, 2008 WNBA Champs !

I've been playing Basket-Ball for more than 10 years now, and I've always loved watching NBA games on TV, well... whenever I could, given the lack of NBA exposure in France back then. It got better, and thanx to the internet, I've been able to follow the NBA very thoroughly lately, watching games regularly, daily recaps, and multiple games a day when playoff comes.

Since the WNBA started back in 1997, I had not heard much about it, let alone watched it. I did watch some Olympic Women Basket-Ball games though, and I remember being very impressed by the level of play, and unselfishness showcased during the 1996 Olympic Finals in Atlanta, between the USA and Brazil. Then I watched some more at the Olympics the next years, a couple WNBA games on TV, and also attended the Open LFB event in Paris the last 3 years (every team playing their first regular season game over the weekend in the same arena).

But this year, for the first time, I tried to really stay up to date with the WNBA season, in large part because of Candace Parker, the rookie sensation of the Los Angeles Sparks (who ended up being Rookie Of The Year and MVP of the league in his first year, by the way), and I'm very pleased I did so. I managed to watch a few regular season and playoffs games, then watched the whole Finals. It was amazing. Of course you won't get all the highlights, the athleticism and the trash talking you're used to in Men's Basket-Ball, but these women definitely know how to play ! Katie Smith, the Finals MVP, was phenomenal, Deanna Nolan impressed me with her athleticism and hustle, and Becky Hammond almost did a "McGrady" in Game 2, scoring 3 straight 3-pointers in less than a minute in the 4th quarter to try to bring her team back in the game, even though Detroit eventually hang on... The final result of the series, Detroit winning it in 3 games, does not do justice to the way the games where played, and I know I'll be back next year to watch the Shock try to repeat, see how Candace Parker does in her second season and if the likes of Becky Hammon or Diana Taurasi can lead their team to the top. Congratulations ladies and thanks for the emotions !

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